Concrete cladding seller fined $152,000 for misrepresenting Chinese panels as Australian
By Sophie Boot
Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - One of four men associated with the Cavan Forde Group has been fined $152,000 for misrepresenting Chinese cladding panels as a premium Australian brand.
In a written sentence released today, Darryl Campbell, a former director and owner of the now-defunct Christchurch Lightweight Concrete, was ordered to pay the fine by the Auckland District Court, the Commerce Commission said. Campbell pleaded guilty in April to nine charges under the Fair Trading Act for his misrepresentations to Christchurch Lightweight staff and customers between July 2007 and June 2010.
During this period Christchurch Lightweight claimed it was supplying the Australian-made Hebel brand of exterior AAC panels for at least 83 properties, when in fact it supplied non-Hebel AAC panels from a Chinese manufacturer, it said.
Campbell is one of four men the regulator is pursuing, all of whom held ownership or management positions in the former Cavan Forde Group of companies. The commission alleges they misrepresented their AAC products as Hebel products between the period of July 2007 and June 2013.
Auckland-based Chris Middleditch pleaded guilty last month to the charges against him and is awaiting sentencing, while the remaining two defendants, Dunedin-based father and son Cavan Forde and Martin Forde, have entered not guilty pleas.
In a press release from June this year, Cavan Forde said the group would "continue to defend the allegations" which he said were "historical allegations and we are confident that when the facts are fully aired the directors will be vindicated.”