The Serious Fraud Office has laid 33 charges in the Auckland District Court against two former employees of dairy producer Sutton Group it says were trying to defraud the Auckland-based company.
Paul Normington and Jin Weifing joint face charges of theft, dishonesty using a document and taking secret commissions, the SFO said in a statement. The pair are accused of trying to defraud Sutton by creating false invoices, theft of product or receiving secret commissions from a supplier to Sutton, and Normington allegedly copied electronic files to help him set up a rival business.
"This is a case about potential loss avoided, rather than actual loss, in an industry that has national importance to New Zealand," outgoing chief executive Adam Feeley said. "This is a good example of how we can be involved in issues prior to a risk crystallising."
Sutton Group is a privately-owned food, beverages and dairy company, set up by Brent and Denise Sutton. The group also has packaging and engineering units.
Normington was employed as a purchasing manager at Sutton Group between September 2008 and December 2011, while Weifing worked as a purchasing assistant and warehouse manager between November 2008 and January 2012.