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Prison sentence for $3 million finance firm fraud

Friday 3rd December 2010

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Debt Relief (NZ) founder Alan Wycherley has been sentenced to three years imprisonment at Wellington District Court and ordered to pay $30,000 after being convicted of defrauding Lumley Finance of $3.7 million.

The sentence resulted from one charge of conspiracy to use documents to defraud laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and was in relation to $3.7 million of advances made by Lumley Finance to Wycherely's budgeting and debt management services business Debt Relief. .

"SFO is pleased with the delivery of a custodial sentence. This continues the clear message from the Courts as to the seriousness of white collar crime," said SFO chief executive  Adam Feeley.

Wycherley was also found guilty of running a company while prohibited and illegally signing shareholder forms.

From June 2004 to July 2006 Wycherley and Debt Relief director Keith Mackie submitted 1,030 loan applications to Lumley Finance on behalf of purported clients. The applications were falsified and none of the named borrowers were aware that they had entered into a loan agreement with Lumley Finance.

The proceeds of the loans were used to repay earlier loans, resulting in a net shortfall of $1,248,961.

Mackie had pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to 10 months home detention, community work and ordered to pay $10,000 in reparation.


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