Hamilton men deny fraud as trial resumes

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 11:31 11/03/2014

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Two Hamilton men are back on trial for allegedly defrauding eight companies of more than $3 million by double-dipping on imported machinery transactions.

In the Hamilton District Court yesterday, Brett Ralph Dutton, 47, and James Peter Moore, 50, each denied 99 dishonesty-related charges.

They face 54 charges of using a document, 41 of theft by a person in a special relationship, three of forgery and one charge involving deception between March 2007 and October 2008.

A trial began in the Hamilton District Court in April, but was aborted after a few weeks. The new trial is set to last up to seven weeks.

Crown prosecutor Tini Clark told Judge Robert Spear the pair would secure finance for a piece of machinery, then either sell it or use it to obtain further finance from another unsuspecting company.

In one case, finance was obtained on equipment that did not exist and there was another instance in which the pair were accused of pledging the same piece of machinery to two finance companies at once, she said.

The accused launched HPL NZ Ltd, after taking over Henry Peiris Ltd where they worked as mortgage brokers. Then they set up umbrella companies and franchises throughout the country.

They would obtain financing through various companies, import machinery from overseas, including Japan, then either sell or obtain additional financing on those same pieces of machinery.

As directors, Dutton and Moore allegedly defrauded $3m from eight financial institutions, including UDC Finance, FMG Finance, GE Finance, Lock Finance, Waikato Finance and Blackbird Finance.

"It's essentially the sale of units and the double pledging of units as security," Clark said.

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