Gas company bosses in $17m fraud

Two former directors of a Wellington gas retail company have been found guilty of fraud charges over $17 million worth of offending.

The verdict was given to E-Gas' former managing director Ronald Rosenberg and former general manager Sydney Lio Hunt by Judge Bruce Davidson at the Wellington District Court today.

Each was charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) with 41 counts relating to the dishonest use of documents.

The judge-alone trial lasted about four weeks.

Both men stood silently in the dock while Judge Davidson read out the guilty verdicts.

At today's hearing the public gallery was packed with supporters of the two defendants.

The SFO laid the charges in July 2012 after an investigation alleged that between April 2005 and October 2008 the two men deliberately under-reported the quantity of gas supplied to its retail customers.

E-Gas under-reported its gas consumption to the tune of about $8.74 million and penalties were avoided to the figure of about $8.67 million.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.

Rosenberg and Hunt were remanded on bail until sentencing next month.

- By Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ

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