Fraudster and self-professed 'armed maniac' John Fagan bankrupt

Fraudster John Grant Fagan, pictured being arrested after escaping a prison work gang in 2014, has been bankrupted when ...
MURRAY WILSON/STUFF

Fraudster John Grant Fagan, pictured being arrested after escaping a prison work gang in 2014, has been bankrupted when he went on the run from a prison work gang in 2014.

John Grant Fagan is a man of many titles: embezzler, fraudster, prison escapee, armed maniac and kidnapper.

He now has a new one – bankrupt.

Fagan, 58, was made bankrupt by Associate Judge Warwick Smith on Wednesday in the High Court at Wellington over income tax and student loan debts.

Fagan's offer to pay off $69,378 through various means, including his "work to release" income, falling flat.

Fagan is serving prison time for a range of offences, including using forged emails, bank account statements and company sales documents to try to get $4.6 million in investments, successfully raising $730,000.

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Some of the forged documents included emails from then-Telecom senior managers Teresa Guthrie and Robin Meaclem, while he also forged sales documents for Rugby World Cup tickets to try to get a South African to pay him $34,500.

He managed to escape a prison work party in 2014 just outside Palmerston North while serving his sentence for those offences, going on the run, threatening to kill himself in front of his wife and trying to hide from police in tall grass.

He was arrested after a member of the public spotted him hiding near the Manawatū River.

Fraud is not new for Fagan. He was sentenced to five years' prison in 1997 for various offences, including embezzling more than $1.2m from Auckland's Northcote College when he was its finance manager.

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He also fired a shotgun in front of a 16-year-old girl at the college's swimming pool in 1996, before going on the run for 24 hours.

He phoned Sir Paul Holmes' NewstalkZB radio show, infamously introducing himself as "John Fagan, armed maniac here".

He arranged to meet Holmes at Auckland Airport for an interview, but was arrested before one took place.

Fagan tried to stave off his bankruptcy by arranging a payment plan with Inland Revenue, but he failed to stick to it.

He claimed he was due to be paid more than $400,000 from business deals, including the development of a golf club, but the judge said there was no evidence the money would be paid anytime soon.

Fagan also said he could give money from his "work to release" employment scheme, but the judge said that income was "modest" and unlikely to make a significant dent in Fagan's debts.

Fagan also tried to get the judge to halt the bankruptcy proceedings by saying it would be unjust, as he had made his money since 1999 through "deal making" and bankrupting him would take that option away.

The judge said Fagan was cashflow insolvent, had accrued the debts over a long time and there was no evidence he could not make money another way.

Fagan remains behind bars after being declined parole in 2016.

He is due to reappear before the Parole Board by the end of November.

 - Stuff

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