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Invoice scam sentencing

Invoice scam sentencing


James Stephen Burns (41) has been sentenced in the Wellington District Court today to seven months’ home detention for his part in an advertising invoice scam.

The scam has been the focus of a major joint enforcement agency operation (Operation Edit) led by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Mr Burns pleaded guilty in July this year to 14 Crimes Act charges of using documents with intent to obtain approximately $740,000.

It is alleged that the scam sought to generate approximately $1.6 million in total since 2008. It involved selling advertising in magazines that were either never printed, or in publications where gross misrepresentations as to the number of magazines to be printed and circulated were made to the advertisers. The magazines were generally titled in a way that suggested worthwhile causes in subjects such as road safety or parenting.

SFO Director, Julie Read said, “We hope that the outcomes during this prosecution phase continue to encourage and enhance legitimate economic activity.”

Mr Burns will commence his sentence of home detention on 25 October 2014.

Terran Elizabeth Dow entered guilty pleas in July 2013 and was sentenced in October 2013. The three remaining defendants in this matter; Anthony John Hendon, Noelene Kay Banton and Johannes Hendrik Maria Middeldorp have been committed for trial.

ENDS

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