Accountant accused of $500k dupe

An accountant has been charged with duping seven clients out of half a million dollars - including $166,000 from one person - but he denies the allegations and says he will vigorously defend them.

The man is due to appear in the Hamilton District Court today to face 24 charges for the alleged offending, between 2003 and last year.

There are 18 charges of obtaining by deception, four of using a document for pecuniary advantage and two of theft by a person in a special relationship, totalling more than $506,000 in losses.

In one case the man, who has interim name suppression, allegedly told a client he used more than $3200 she gave him to use for solicitor fees to bring his partner back to New Zealand from overseas.

One client is alleged to have lost $166,000 through a property investment scheme that went sour.

Police said the client engaged the man as a property accounting specialist to buy and subdivide a rental property in 2004.

Five removable houses were bought but later sold to pay for debt which police say was incurred by the accountant.

Another client allegedly lost $130,000 through a similar scheme the same year when she bought an investment property with the intention of renovating and subdividing it.

But police claim the man failed to carry out the renovation and subdivision that was to cost $75,000, and asked for a $55,000 loan to continue the work which was not completed.

The accountant also kept family support payments worth $42,276 meant for another client, according to the charges.

The man told the NZ Herald he would strenuously defend the charges.

- Natalie Akoorie of the NZ Herald

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