Former drainage boss denies fraud

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 09:54 17/06/2014

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The former chief executive of a Christchurch drainage firm has pleaded not guilty to defrauding residents following the 2011 earthquake.

Kevin John Davies, former chief executive of Alligator Drainage, appeared in the Auckland District Court today, facing six counts of obtaining by deception.

The company, which was based in New Brighton, started working in Christchurch after the earthquakes.

Alligator Drainage allegedly told many of its customers the Earthquake Commission (EQC) would reimburse them for extensive work done by the company without EQC approving the work beforehand.

It allegedly provided quotes after survey work and asked for deposits, normally half the contract price, from customers.

Davies, who resigned from the company in November, had been charged alongside Alligator Drainage director Graham Daniel Lilley, who faced a total of 16 counts of obtaining by deception.

The charges relate to 16 Christchurch victims, some of them elderly, who lost between $1000 and $20,000 each between August and October 2013.

The amounts totalled $168,349.

The company went in to receivership in January and a liquidator was appointed in March.

Last month, Waterstone Insolvency officer Kieran Jones said 20 unsecured creditors had lodged debts totalling $478,000.

They included Inland Revenue, which was a preferential creditor and had filed for $200,000.

Alligator Drainage had not provided any bookwork or records from the company's operation, Jones said. Instead, the liquidator had relied on paperwork from creditors and the company's accountant.

Jones said the liquidation would likely take 12 to 18 months.

Davies' next appearance at Auckland District Court is scheduled for October 1.

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