Sentence of 3 years 3 months in SFO $1.4M fraud

Published

Sentence of 3 years 3 months in SFO $1.4M fraud

Martyn Tewsley Scott was today sentenced to three years and three months imprisonment following his guilty plea to seven representative charges of accessing a computer for dishonest purpose, laid by the SFO in September last year.

Mr Scott fraudulently obtained in excess of $1.4m during the six year period he was employed as the general manager of a family run security equipment supply business, National Fire and Security Limited.

In arriving at his final decision, the sentencing judge took into account factors including Mr Scott’s early guilty plea and also the repayment by Mr Scott of almost $700,000.

SFO Chief Executive, Adam Feeley, said the Office was pleased to bring the matter to a successful conclusion.

“We have a large number of cases under investigation and prosecution at present, and so it is important that we maintain last year’s momentum.”

“This case demonstrates that we are managing to effectively balance the major finance companies investigations with successful prosecutions of smaller, but nonetheless important, cases of fraud.”

For further information

Nick Paterson
General Manager, Fraud and Corruption
Serious Fraud Office
Phone: 021 675647

Note to editors

Case summary

Martyn Tewsley Scott is a 51 year old male who, between 2003 and 2009, was employed in various administration roles at National Fire and Security Ltd (“NFS”) based in Penrose, Auckland.  NFS is a security equipment supply business, that import and distribute a wide range of low voltage electronic supplies and carry an extensive range of products related to the security industry.

Scott commenced employment at NFS on 25 August 2003, initially as an accounts clerk but further into his employment assumed more varied responsibilities and in 2007 he was promoted to General Manager.

Between January 2004 and February 2009, Scott used his position in the company and the program access it afforded him, to transfer $1,403,940.81 to his own bank accounts and pay personal invoices amounting to $6,243.90 through the NFS accounting system. 

Scott effected his purpose in one of the following ways:

1. Diverting genuine supplier invoices to his bank account resulting in the creditors not being paid;

2. Making a double payment of a genuine invoice with the second payment going to one of his bank accounts;

3. Creation of false supplier invoices to substantiate other payments covertly paid to his bank account.

Scott’s offending only ceased in February 2009 when one of the owners of NFS conducted queries with the company’s bank regarding a number of complaints from suppliers of no payment. 

From these bank enquiries, she ascertained that these payments were in fact being credited to the same bank account Scott’s salary was being paid into. 

His employment at NFS was permanently terminated on 25th March 2009.

Role of the SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Act in response to the collapse of financial markets in New Zealand at that time.

The SFO operates three investigative teams:

  • Fraud Detection & Intelligence;
  • Financial Markets & Corporate Fraud; and
  • Fraud & Corruption.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”

Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”

The SFO’s Statement of Intent 2010-2012 sets out the SFO’s three year strategic goals and performance standards.  It is available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz