New Zealand Law Society - Property consultant jailed for defrauding government body

Property consultant jailed for defrauding government body

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Property consultant Stephen Gubb, who sold real estate in a business park near Christchurch, has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison on 14 charges of obtaining by deception brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

As an employee of Hughes Developments Ltd, Mr Gubb sold land, leases and design and build packages for Izone - a Selwyn District Council business hub development located in Rolleston.

The SFO says Mr Gubb fraudulently obtained 13 commission payments of more than $300,000 from the Council between March 2007 and July 2015. Nearly $150,000 of these payments were eventually transferred into a bank account controlled by Mr Gubb and his co-defendant.  

The SFO alleges that Mr Gubb’s co-defendant, who has name suppression, was complicit in obtaining the commission payments.

Mr Gubb, who is 62, also obtained $10,500 by submitting an invoice to the Council for services that were not provided.

He has previously been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud charges involving about $1.18 million. He was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment on these charges in December 2003.  

“The sentence reflects the seriousness of offending which was not only deliberate, planned and long running, but a repetition of previous offending,” says SFO Director, Julie Read.

“Stephen Gubb defrauded a government body of $300,829, took advantage of his position and betrayed the trust his employer had placed in him. Mr Gubb was given an opportunity to rebuild his life following his previous fraud convictions but instead chose to offend again.”