Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Media agency owner's fraud trial date set

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The Serious Fraud Office trial of a former owner of an Auckland media agency is not due happen until February 2015.

Glenda Mary Wynyard, 48, has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office with 21 counts of causing loss by deception, 7 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, and 4 counts of dishonestly using a document.

Wynyard, a discharged bankrupt, is the a former director of The Media Counsel, an agency set up in 2005 that provided media placement, planning, public relations and event management services.

It was placed into liquidation in 2010 and before this employed 24 staff.

Wynyard, who lives in Australia, was back in the country yesterday for a brief appearance in the Auckland District Court where a trial date of 9th February 2015 was set.

The proceedings are set down for four weeks.

The SFO alleged when it announced Wynyard's charges that the The Media Counsel entered into an debt factoring agreement with Marac Finance in late 2008 which enabled it to get advances.

This agreement is where someone passes invoices to a third party in return for a loan based on the funds that are due to come in.

About a year after entering this agreement, TMC signed on Aegis Media New Zealand to provide media buying services as TMC's accredited agency.

This followed TMC losing its own industry accreditation, which meant it was unable to put advertising into publications on a client's behalf, the SFO said.

The SFO alleges that Wynyard directed about $2.4 million of client invoice payments due to Aegis to pay the Marac debt factoring facility.

TMC's liquidators, McDonald Vague, say in reports posted to the Companies Office that they "concluded that the reason for the company's failure lies solely with the director's action of removing funds from the company to fund her lifestyle".

The company still owes creditors close to $2.5 million. Around $2.2 million of this is unsecured and liquidators say they do not anticipate making a "significant distribution" to these creditors.

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