A chartered accountant has been jailed for three years and nine months for stealing $726,462 from a family trust.
John Lawrence Hibbard, 60, had admitted five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, taking money from the trust when his business suffered a downturn over a four-year period.
He is in the process of being struck off as a chartered accountant, has been made bankrupt and there is no present prospect of the money being paid back.
When he was sentenced today, the Christchurch District Court was told that he had taken the money in the hope that a North American mining investment would return enough money to repay it.
That has not happened, but Hibbard has undertaken to pay back the money if the investment comes through.
Judge David McKegg suppressed the name of the family trust involved.
The judge said: "You have a long way back sir. I have no doubt you will give it your best."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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