Man entitled to cash, court told

Last updated 05:00 23/08/2014
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Paul Yeo

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A Southland man on trial for fraud and theft drew money from his business because he was entitled to, the Invercargill District Court has been told.

Paul Graham Yeo, 55, is on trial before Judge Michael Turner after pleading not guilty to 118 charges, including theft by a person in a special relationship, dishonestly using a document, obtaining by deception, causing loss by deception and forgery.

In the four-hour police interview played to the court yesterday, Yeo spoke about Southern Agriculture and Baleage Ltd, the company he and his former business partner Graham Laidlaw set up.

Yeo told police he believed he was to run the business and supply the tractor while Laidlaw would supply the bailing gear.

A budget was set up and for six months of the year Yeo was to pay himself $2000 a week. Laidlaw would have had a copy of that budget and received bank statements each month, he said.

"I had nothing to hide."

He told police there had been discussions around the bank drawings and that Laidlaw knew it was his only income.

Laidlaw had not asked for any bank drawings, he said.

Several $2000 cheques and direct debits from the company account paid to Yeo were for his wages, he said.

He admitted a couple of the cheques should not have been used for his personal reasons, one being a cheque to pay his own CRT account.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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- The Southland Times

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