Joke on website 'not meant to mislead'

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 13:38 18/02/2014

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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 never meant to mislead anyone.

Frank Allan Yeates, 62, is on trial in the Hamilton District Court.

Yesterday his lawyer, Lyn Walkington, asked him to explain to the court what his intent was in starting the company.

Yeates said he understood he had been asked to find workers.

He began to elaborate on who had informed him about the industry but during questioning both Ms Walkington and Yeates were reminded several times that they should not present hearsay as evidence.

Yeates has pleaded not guilty to charges of knowingly being party to AAAjobforyou NZ Ltd in 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 it had mining industry positions available but this was not the case.

Yeates explained he understood he had been asked to find 300-plus workers for a "cold start" mine, which he explained was a mine that had been shut down for a period of time and was in need of a revamp.

The particular mine he said he was asked to recruit for had been shut down for two years.

Yeates has also pleaded not guilty to making a false statement when he asserted that funds would be paid into the Crosbie and Associates Ltd trust account, when this was not the case, and asserting AAAjobforyou NZ Ltd was part of PF and DTM International Group.

Yeates said the PF and DTM International Group was nothing more than a good bit of Aussie and Kiwi humour.

"It stands for Pay Frank and Dee The Money," Yeates said.

Dee Walker is the woman who provided financial backing for AAAjobforyou NZ Ltd.

"It's a recognition of Dee Walker.

"I just put the initials up there [on the website], there was nothing other than that in there . . . it was not put there to mislead anyone," he said.

When asked why he had failed to answer a couple who had asked about PF and DTM International Group at a seminar he ran, Yeates said he did not appreciate the way they were questioning him about the company.

"The two of them were acting like seagulls at the dump so I just stopped talking to them.

"It wasn't 'cause I was hiding anything," he said.

The trial will continue this week before a jury of seven women and four men.

One juror has been excused due to illness and the trial will continue with 11 members.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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