Former director of accountancy practice guilty of theft
12 December 2012
Former director of
accountancy practice guilty of theft
of Hobbs Rose Limited (Hobbs Rose), Gary Malcolm Hobbs (45),
has been found guilty by a jury in the Hamilton District
Court on 14 criminal charges laid by the Serious Fraud
Office (SFO) in November 2011.
The charges, of theft
by a person in a special relationship, against Mr Hobbs,
related to funds totalling over $320,000.
At the time
of the theft, Mr Hobbs was a director of Hobbs Rose, an
accountancy firm based in Te Awamutu. The SFO investigation
concluded that Mr Hobbs stole funds from two of his
clients’ bank accounts and used those funds in part for
the benefit of his own accountancy firm and for another
company of which Mr Hobbs was also a Director, South
American Tobacco Group NZ Limited.
verdict, Acting Chief Executive for the SFO, Simon McArley,
explained the importance the Office placed on this
prosecution, “As a trusted advisor, Mr Hobbs let his
clients down. This not only impacted directly on them but at
a local level it undermines the good faith that people
should be able to place in professional services such as
Mr Hobbs was a qualified
chartered accountant and a member of the New Zealand
Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA). Following an
NZICA investigation into Hobbs Rose and allegations of
client funds being mismanaged, Mr Hobbs’ NZICA membership
was cancelled in 2010 and his name removed permanently from
the NZICA register of members.
A sentencing date has
been set for 15 February 2013.
© Scoop Media
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