Wellington businessman bribed ACC worker

00:24, May 11 2012

A Wellington businessman has pleaded guilty to agreeing to give a bribe to an ACC property manager so the businessman could profit from ACC's plans for a new Whangarei office.

In the High Court at Wellington today Gregory Alexander Hutt, 54, was released on bail for sentencing next month.

He pleaded guilty to agreeing to bribe ACC employee Malcolm David Mason for referring information about the corporation's plans for its Whangarei office and for recommending that that corporation enter into a lease with Hutt's company, between February and May 2007.

After the plea was entered Justice Ronald Young was told that the Crown would offer no evidence on three other charges.

Two of them had accused Hutt of giving Mason $160,000 as a bribe or gift.

The remaining charge alleged that Hutt attempted to pervert the course of justice by helping to produce false documents to support a bogus loan explanation for the $160,000 payment to Mason.

Hutt was discharged on the three charges on which the Crown offered no evidence.

In the court case against Mason - more than a year ago - it was said he had given information to Hutt about a building in Whangarei that ACC was looking to lease.

Hutt bought the building, secured the lease, and then sold the building at a profit because of ACC's long-term tenancy.

Mason was sentenced to 11 months home detention and he forfeited the $160,000.

Mason had been with ACC since leaving school and had risen to become national property manager.

He was fired in 2010 when an investigation began into him accepting an illegal gift.


The Dominion Post