Alleged fraudster to hear verdict in two weeks

The man at the centre of an alleged $3m fraud case will discover his fate in two weeks time.

Loizos Michaels has denied 31 deception charges at the Auckland District Court.

Today, his lawyer Peter Kaye told the court that his client would not be calling further evidence.

Judge Christopher Field is hearing the case and will hear closing submissions from Mr Kaye and Crown prosecutor Christine Gordon SC next Tuesday.

Judge Field said he would deliver his verdicts on the following Friday.

Michaels had initially asked to be excused from court for the closing submissions.

Judge Field said he would grant the request but said: "For what it is worth, I would suggest Mr Michaels might consider it appropriate to be here.''

Michaels responded from the dock: "I'll come Your Honour, I'll come.''

The trial is now in its eighth week, a week of which was taken up as Michaels gave evidence in his own defence.

Last week the 45-year-old claimed he had lost money in an online gaming venture with former Christchurch Casino chief executive Stephen Lyttelton and that National Party President Peter Goodfellow was involved in a bid to take over Sky City.

Michaels also pointed the finger at politicians Pita Sharples and John Tamihere, who he said had been paid money by Mr Lyttelton.

He said his former wife had drug and alcohol issues and his bank had been complicit in a money laundering operation.

The claims contradict evidence from Crown witnesses.

Towards the end of her cross-examination on Friday, Ms Gordon put a series of propositions to Michaels.

"You got people to think big and put up big schemes and believe you could back those schemes with big money,'' she said.

Ms Gordon said Michaels used people as "pawns'' and took their money.

"You took money off different people and spent it ... And I suggest you lied to the court, just as you lied to [the witnesses].''

Michaels denied each proposition: "I say you're totally wrong.''

Ms Gordon also quizzed Michaels about his attempts to buy 12 luxury apartments at the Sacred Waters complex in Taupo from co-owner Janet Jackson.

Mrs Jackson has previously told the court she was persuaded by Michaels to buy the apartments from her co-owners - then sell them to Michaels.

She said Michaels told her his money was in a Belgian bank account and his backers needed some security. He allegedly convinced her to make several payments worth more than $353,000 to ensure the sales.

Michaels was asked about putting All Black great Jonah Lomu's name on the sale and purchase agreement.

"Jonah was just a delay tactic. He knew about it,'' Michaels said.

The money was transferred into the account of Michaels' tradesmen hire business Trades R Us but the sale never went ahead.

Today, Ms Gordon said the SFO had shown Michaels spent $57,000 of the money from Mrs Jackson on rent for his Greek restaurant, Plato's on Auckland's Ponsonby Rd.

Other money was allegedly transferred to Michaels' estranged wife and some was withdrawn in cash.

The restaurant eventually failed and went into liquidation.

But Michaels denied ever offering to buy the Sacred Waters apartments and said the money Mrs Jackson transferred into the Trades R Us account was part of an elaborate attempt to launder cash and make it look like the money was for renovations of her rental properties.

He also said the SFO operated as an agent-provocateur during its investigation.

"I have absolute faith in the ability of the SFO to be corrupt.''

Michaels said he repaid $300,000 to Mrs Jackson's husband, Ted. Mr Jackson has denied that ever happened.

When Michaels said his bank failed to record some of the details of Mrs Jackson's transactions he was asked by Judge Christopher Field if he was saying the bank "was a party'' to a conspiracy.

"They must be, Your Honour.''

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