An Invercargill man accused of fraud and theft offences totalling more than $400,000 has been found guilty.
Victims and their families hugged and tears were shed in the Invercargill District Court yesterday after a jury found Barry Andrew Hansen, 50, guilty of three charges of obtaining by pecuniary advantage and one of theft.
The verdict was delivered at 5.30pm after the jury considered its decision most of the day, following Hansen's seven-day trial.
Judge Michael Turner remanded Hansen in custody for sentencing on May 16.
Crown prosecutor John Young, speaking to the The Southland Times after the court was cleared, said Hansen's actions had affected a lot of people, mostly vulnerable people.
Hansen was a "menace to the community of Invercargill" who had rightly been taken off the streets, Mr Young said.
Detective Constable Scott McConachie, of the Invercargill CIB, told The Southland Times Hansen had breached the victims' trust.
"It's been a very difficult situation for them."
Mr McConachie said he was not ruling out there being more complainants in the community.
"If there are any more people that have been affected, we would like to talk to them."
Investigations into Hansen began 18 months ago, with Mr McConachie saying he was extremely happy with the outcome.
The four charges consisted of four groups of complainants making four separate allegations against him.
The court had earlier heard evidence that included Hansen being paid $57,500 by a group of men after he agreed to sell a property which he did not own; failing to pay back $63,000 after a terminally ill friend had given him the money to invest and paying a woman only $100,000 of her $386,000 life insurance payout after helping her secure the claim.
- The Southland Times