Fraudster's trail of misery

Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014

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One of the alleged victims of an Invercargill man accused of fraud was a terminally ill man.

Barry Andrew Hansen, 50, appeared before Judge Michael Turner and a jury in the Invercargill District Court yesterday.

Hansen, who pleaded not guilty, is facing three charges of obtaining by pecuniary deception and one of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Crown prosecutor John Young, in his opening address, said Hansen was self-employed and worked as an insurance salesman and financial adviser.

The Crown alleges:

Hansen was paid $57,500 by a group of men after he agreed in 2009 to sell a property in Makarewa that he did not own.

In September 2011 he helped a woman to get a life insurance payout after her partner died, and paid her only $100,000 of the $386,901.37. The court was told Hansen said he would invest the remainder of the money, despite the woman saying she did not want it invested.

Between June and July 2012 he was approached by a person who owned a rental property who wanted a sleepout built. Hansen agreed to help the victim and about $30,000 was given to him. However, the builders were never paid.

The theft charge relates to a terminally ill man who knew Hansen as an insurance agent and asked him to invest his money. The Crown says between March and August 2011 Hansen agreed to do this and said he would invest it in mortgage shares. Four deposits were made but the man's family became suspicious and wanted to track the investments.

In all the incidents, the Crown alleges Hansen used the money to pay personal debts.

Hansen, who is representing himself, declined to give an opening address. However, lawyer Simon Claver, who is acting as an amicus curiae, spoke on Hansen's behalf and asked the jury to not make any decisions before hearing all the evidence.

The Crown is expected to call 16 witnesses and the trial is expected to last 10 days.

It continues tomorrow.

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- The Southland Times

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