Job fraud accused gathered workers

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014

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A Coromandel man charged with defrauding the public with the promise of fake jobs in the Australian mining industry says he was contracted to gather prospective employees.

Frank Allan Yeates, 62, was on trial in the Hamilton District Court this week.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of knowingly being party to AAAjobforyou NZ Ltd by running a business with intent to defraud members of the public, and of making a false statement with intent to deceive people. The company's website stated that it had mining industry positions available, but this was not the case.

He also pleaded not guilty to making a false statement asserting that funds would be paid into the Crosbie and Associates Ltd trust account when this was not the case, and asserting that it was part of P.F and D.T.M International Group.

All charges relate to alleged offending between February 28 and June 30, 2012.

Opening the defence case yesterday, Yeates' counsel Lyn Walkington said her client will on Monday begin to explain how he never intended to defraud anyone of money, and how the circumstances were out of his control.

Yeates will explain how in 2009 he met an old friend, Leonard Miles, who is in the mining industry in Australia.

He'll tell the jury how he eventually came to be offered the brokerage rights to find employees for the mines and build a New Zealand workforce to travel there.

Yeates will also explain why he got involved with mining training companies, including iMinco.

As for the PF and DTM International Group Ltd, Yeates will explain that the woman behind the company provided the financial backing for AAAjobforyou NZ Ltd.

A man described this week as the "money man" at the seminars, Brian Mitchell, will also give evidence about his role and how he tried to help Yeates keep the company running in its last days in June 2012.

Yeates will also explain how his administrative manager Vivian Burgess, who he says was the "linchpin" in the case and a source of "ongoing frustration", continually failed to carry out aspects of her job, including not providing weekly reports to his accountant Crosbie and Associates.

Yeates will also reveal why he told Ms Burgess not to use her real name on emails and that he asked her not to put his own personal bank account details on the payments for eftpos at the seminars.

And Yeates' former employer from Southwest Helicopters will also give evidence.

The trial, before a jury of seven women and five men, is expected to continue well into next week. 

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- Waikato Times

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