Former Balclutha stock agent avoids prison over fraud

John Francis Williams. Photo: Staff Reporter
John Francis Williams. Photo: Staff Reporter
A former rural stock agent is to serve 12 months’ home detention and pay $550,000 reparation for fraud which caused losses of well over $1 million dollars.

John Francis Williams (40), of Balclutha, was given the sentence when he appeared before Justice Gendall in the High Court at Dunedin this morning.

A sentencing indication in October resulted in him admitting one charge of causing loss by deception, and three representative charges — obtaining by deception, false accounting with intent to deceive and false accounting with intent to obtain pecuniary advantage.

The offending occurred over the two years from mid-2014 when Williams was employed by Rural Livestock Limited (RLL) as a livestock agent.

RLL is the largest privately-owned livestock and station company in the South Island.

Between mid-2014 and mid-2016  Williams facilitated stock transactions which were inconsistent with RLL’s accounting records for the transactions.

He was stood down from his employment with RLL from May 23, 2016 and resigned from RLL on August 31 that year.

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