Manager said he would repay loan

19:23, Feb 19 2013

A Stratford motel manager facing a raft of fraud charges told police he still intended to pay back $42,000 he borrowed from an elderly couple.

Yesterday, a jury in New Plymouth District Court watched a filmed police interview Steven Francis Younger, 45, had with Constable Heath Karlson, of the Stratford CIB, on January 25 last year.

Younger is facing 15 fraud charges and one of attempting to pervert the course of justice two years ago, all of which he has denied.

"I can only apologise. I've let these people down due to my situation," he told Mr Karlson in the interview. "It's still my intention to honour the outstanding amount."

Younger was referring to a $42,000 loan given to him by Barbara and William Coles.

Younger agreed both he and his wife had signed the short-term loan contract with the Coles, headed Private and Personal Contract.


He knew Mrs Coles "reasonably well". His wife had cut her hair.

Younger said he would have been able to pay the Coles if the money he was owed had been paid to him.

"They will be repaid. We are owed $800,000. I hope it gets sorted and we will get out of this mess."

When he wrote out a cheque to the Coles for $42,000 he post-dated it because he believed he was to get repaid "and obviously it didn't come through".

Mr Karlson said Younger's financial documents on February 28 showed he had $470 in his account "obviously nowhere near the $42,000".

Younger said people were hiding behind police but he would not elaborate.

"I let myself down. I can't change what happened. I wrote in genuineness believing the money would be there. I'm doing what I can to put it right. It's going to become very clear to the police very soon."

Younger agreed he had taken $7500 of Barry Moore's, on a handshake, telling him he would trade it in foreign currency, which was a hobby of his, for a month or longer. "I invested it for him but it hasn't been returned."

He had a couple of years of bad luck, Younger said. "I've done some pretty stupid things. I've owed a lot of money but haven't got the resources to pay it. I can't change what's happened. I've let a lot of people down but I believe I will get it sorted."

Mr Karlson asked if Younger had a gambling problem. A huge amount of money had gone through his TAB account, he said.

Younger said: "I certainly do gamble and do exchange foreign currency but that $42,000 never went near a gambling account."

Instead it had cleared a bank overdraft, he said.

He was not in a good situation to pay back the money because he was involved with another major investment, he said.

Substantial money went through his accounts.

At one time he would get $70,000 to $80,000 out of the TAB, Younger said.

His family was now helping him - with restrictions - and he had a home with equity in it and was trying to work it through.

The trial continues today.

Taranaki Daily News