Twizel man stole $221k from clients

Last updated 07:28 21/05/2014

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A Twizel man has pleaded guilty to stealing $221,000 from clients he was doing accounts for.

Peter Blacklaws, 59, pleaded guilty in the Timaru District Court yesterday to seven charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

In 2008 Blacklaws began working with a client to help her with her tax.

He asked her to sign four cheques but to leave them blank. He told her he would pay IRD and manage her finances. He asked her to sign a fifth cheque, which she made out to IRD. Blacklaws then wrote out cheques to his wife and altered the fifth cheque.

Overall he took $25,000.

The victim became aware of the offending and approached the firm where he worked. The firm has name suppression. He wrote the victim an apology and paid her back the $25,000.

After being questioned by his employer, he admitted other similar stealing.

He was the trustee of a family trust, through which he used 61 unauthorised cheques to transfer $84,999.41 to himself.

From his own firm he stole $47,634.87.

Another family trust was targeted and in 73 transactions Blacklaws took $47,692.54. He also stole amounts of $3893.66, $4817.31 and $7225.

Overall he took $221,000 and reparation was sought for $196,000.

Judge Joanna Maze remanded Blacklaws on bail to July 28 for sentencing.

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- The Timaru Herald

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