Defendant Pleads Guilty in SFO $1.4M Fraud

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Defendant Pleads Guilty in SFO $1.4M Fraud

Martyn Tewsley Scott, a 51 year old from Meadowbank, Auckland, today appeared in Auckland District Court and pleaded guilty to seven representative charges of accessing a computer for dishonest purpose, laid by the SFO in September this 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.

SFO Chief Executive, Adam Feeley, said “While the SFO is investigating and prosecuting cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars, we have not lost sight of the need to also hold smaller scale fraudsters to account for the losses they cause to the public.” 

Mr Feeley said that the conviction was the seventh SFO conviction this financial year, with a further 30 cases currently under prosecution. 

Mr Scott manipulated the company’s computerised accounting system on over 380 occasions to redirect invoice payments due to creditors to bank accounts under his control. He varied the method to either divert payments due to genuine suppliers or create false supplier invoices to substantiate payments covertly paid to his bank account.  He used his position in the company and the 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.
 
Mr Scott was remanded in custody to a sentencing date on 27 January 2011.

Mr Feeley said, “It is significant that, despite raising the financial threshold for SFO cases this year and restructuring the organisation, we have continued to maintain an extremely high success rate which is a reflection of the skills of our investigators and prosecutors.”

Mr Feeley said that not only was SFO taking on bigger cases, it was seeing more custodial sentences being ordered by the courts.

“It is apparent that the scale of losses and impact on society through white collar crime is beginning to be increasingly recognised by the decisions of the courts in these cases.”

Feeley said that the dollar value of SFO cases had risen dramatically in the past year with the losses to investors and victims in SFO cases under investigation now averaging approximately $35M per case.

For further information

Adam Feeley
Chief Executive
Serious Fraud Office
Phone 021 333 539

The role of the Serious Fraud Office

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 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 strategy and goals for contributing towards the Government’s Justice and Economic Development goals. It is available online at http://www.sfo.govt.nz/f56,555/SFO_Statement_of_Intent_2010.pdf