Michaels takes stand in $3m fraud case

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 16:15 12/11/2012

Relevant offers

National business

John Key announces resignation - business reaction John Key resignation prompts NZ dollar drop Blowing Bubbles: How long until the bubble bursts? Changda International launches $420 million Sunny Heights development Blowing Bubbles: Bubbles are normal and rational, and then they pop - Shamubeel Eaqub Blowing Bubbles: What will the end of the housing market boom look like? Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford resigns Demolition of part of Hutt mall finally under way John Key is out - does that give Labour a clearer path into the Beehive? Commerce Commission to prosecute over concrete building panels

Alleged fraudster Loizos Michaels has taken the stand for the first time in his fraud trial at the Auckland District Court.

The 45-year-old Auckland-based restaurateur has pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud involving $3 million.

The court has heard from prominent witnesses including National Party President Peter Goodfellow, rugby star Jonah Lomu and senior Christchurch Casino executives who were roped into what the prosecution called a "web of deceit".

The charismatic accused conman spoke softly but rapidly under examination from defence lawyer Peter Kaye.

He described his early life in Cyprus, and shifting with his mother to live in Melbourne at the age of seven. Michaels said he sold newspapers on the street at an early age and quickly became fascinated with the machinations of the stock market.

"I would grab company registers and analyse them just for fun."

Michaels eventually returned to Cyprus to reconnect with his father and other family, who gifted him land and shares, including some in a shipping line.

He denied later telling people that his family ran the shipping line, or that they were going to bring a boat to Australia to set up a floating casino off the coast: "That's impossible."

Kaye said the defence case would essentially boil down to a question of credibility between the Crown's witnesses and Michaels himself.

The trial continues.

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay.co.nz

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content