Oz move gets $10,000 fine for media boss - no community work

It's a fine, rather than community work for former TMC director Glenda Wynyard - because she now lives in Australia.
It's a fine, rather than community work for former TMC director Glenda Wynyard - because she now lives in Australia.

Former media boss Glenda Wynyard copped a $10,000 fine for her dishonesty rather than a sentence of community work because she now lives in Australia.

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

TMC was placed into liquidation in 2010 and three years later Wynyard was charged by the Serious Fraud Office, accused of deceiving one firm and diverting funds due to it to another firm owed money instead.

She was originally found guilty of six charges of theft by person in a special relationship, four charges for dishonest use of a document and one charge of obtaining by deception.

She was then sentenced to eight months home detention but did not serve any of it as she challenged the bulk of the guilty verdicts.

That challenge was successful, with the Court of Appeal quashing her convictions on the most serious charges late last year.

She remains convicted on four charges for dishonestly using a document.

One related to her company's application to the Print Media Accreditation Authority, in which she certified that TMC had and would maintain a certain ratio of assets-to-liabilities.

However, TMC's list of assets included $1.3 million that another of Wynyard's companies had deposited into its account after she arranged an overdraft.

The application form was false because TMC was never going to retain the funds and maintain the ratio required.

The other dishonesty charges involved three cheques.

For one of them, Wynyard led another ad placement agency, Aegis, to believe it would get a payment TMC received from one of its debtors.

But instead of paying the money to Aegis, Wynyard use it to reduce a debt that TMC owed Marac Finance.

The two other charges related to two cheques Wynyard provided to Aegis when knowing they could never be honoured.

After she successfully appealed all but these four charges, Wynyard challenged her sentence.

Justices Denis Clifford, Tony Randerson and Graham Lang earlier this month quashed the term of home detention and replaced it with a $10,000 fine.

That was more than the conviction and discharge which Wynyard's lawyer pushed for.

The judges have now released their reasons behind this decision.

"We did not accept that conviction and discharge is the appropriate outcome for offending involving multiple instances of dishonesty in a commercial context. Nor did we accept the Crown's submission that home detention is appropriate...," Justices Clifford, Randerson and Lang said.

"We considered that the appropriate sentence would ordinarily have been one of community work. The appropriateness of that sentence is called into question by the fact that Ms Wynyard now lives in Australia, where she has re-established her life and appears to be doing well. She is employed in a successful business, and her
employer speaks very highly of her. She has also suffered considerable stigma and embarrassment as a result of the convictions, the most serious of which have now been quashed.

Given those facts we did not consider it appropriate to require Ms Wynyard to remain in New Zealand whilst she serves a sentence of community
work," they said.

Given Wynyard could borrow up to $10,000 from her Australian employer, the judges considered this level of fine was a "sufficient penalty".

- NZ Herald

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