A former employee of a company owned by Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh has been sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
The SFO says Eugene John DeMarco, 57, was sentenced in the Wellington High Court on six counts of fraud. Mr DeMarco committed the frauds while he was employed as The Vintage Aviator Ltd (TVAL)’s production manager.
Mr Demarco was found guilty by a jury in September. He broke the law on several counts to rid himself of a debt of more than $1 million owed to a trust controlled by Mr Jackson and Ms Walsh and to dishonestly obtain a bank loan.
“The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of offending. Mr DeMarco defrauded his employer, a charitable organisation and a bank. He exploited people’s goodwill and trust through his offending which was premediated and driven by self-interest,” says the Director of the SFO, Julie Read.
Eugene John DeMarco, who is a United States citizen and New Zealand resident, was found guilty by a jury in September and convicted of ‘Theft by person in a special relationship’ and ‘Obtaining by deception’ in relation to the sale of three reproduction vintage aircraft to the New Zealand Warbirds Association Inc., and ‘Theft by person in a special relationship’ in relation to a BE2e aircraft, owned by TVAL. He was also convicted of ‘Theft by person in a special relationship’ and ‘Obtaining by Deception’ in relation to the unauthorised use of another vintage aircraft, a P-40, as security to obtain a loan.