The trial date for fraud charges brought against disgraced
former Dunedin lawyer John Milne has been moved from June to
October, understood to be because of pressure on court times
Three weeks have been set aside for the trial. It is almost
three years since the Law Society launched an investigation
into Milne, after complaints from clients.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) then became involved, laying
33 criminal charges against Milne (78) last August, including
theft by a person in a special relationship.
Milne has been in Christchurch since 2008 but earlier had a
sole practice and client base in Dunedin for several decades.
The 33 charges relate to about $2.8 million of funds received
during the latter period.
Over many years, clients had given Milne sums ranging from
$10,000 to almost $1 million.
The SFO alleges none of the money was invested and some early
investors were repaid with monies received from later
In November 2012, Milne declared himself bankrupt and in
April 2013 he was struck off the roll of barristers and
solicitors by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary
Tribunal, as not being a fit and proper person to be a
Law Society inspectors found no paper trail showing Milne had
invested the funds he received, either in receipts of any
interest payments or lending to a third party.