Piano shop director to face fraud charges

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 05:00 22/06/2012
Pianoshop director Cameron Crawford
ANDREW GORRIE/FAIRFAX NZ

PIANO MAN: Pianoshop director Cameron Crawford has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

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Cameron Crawford, director of the Plimmerton piano store which collapsed with debts of more than $2 million, will appear in court next week facing fraud charges.

Pianoshop was placed in liquidation last month, having narrowly failed to strike a compromise deal with creditors earlier this year.

Police yesterday arrested Crawford at his home in Raumati South, following complaints that customers who had sold pianos through Pianoshop up to two years ago had not been paid.

He is due to appear in the Porirua District Court on Tuesday facing four charges of causing loss by deception, however Detective Jocelyn Bell said it was likely further charges would be laid.

Police were likely to request a lengthy remand period to give victims, especially those who bought and sold pianos through Mr Crawford, time to come forward, Ms Bell said.

A compromise agreement put forward in an attempt to reach a deal with creditors of Pianoshop earlier this year showed the company had unsecured, non-trade creditors of $924,643. These are understood to be mainly those who bought or sold pianos through Mr Crawford.

Contacted shortly after the store was placed in liquidation, Crawford said he realised the company was in trouble and "we tried to put it right" but attempts to reach a deal so as to recover some money for creditors had failed.

"I'm obviously gutted ... that it's in the hands of the liquidators, and hopefully they can get some resolution for the creditors."

Contacted at the start of the week about fraud allegations, Crawford refused to make any comment.

A report by Liquidator Murray Allott showed the business owed creditors of almost $2.4 million, however its realisable assets were estimated to be worth less than $90,000.

Contact Hamish Rutherford
Business reporter
Email: hamish.rutherford@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @oneforthedr

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- The Dominion Post

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