A former finance company director has denied fraudulently obtaining $185,000 from an elderly couple in Northland.

The man, who has name suppression, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of theft by person in a special relationship and a two-day judge-alone trial started in the Whangarei District Court yesterday.

The Crown indicated to Judge Greg Davis it did not wish to proceed with two charges of obtaining by deception which were earlier laid.

In court yesterday, one of the two complainants took the stand and said she and her husband lent $185,000 for the man to arrange the purchase of a property in Northland in 2007. However, she said they discovered no purchase had been made when the couple checked on the property and discovered it was put up for auction.

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Defence lawyer Eric Forster asked the woman questions about the accounts she and her husband managed.

The defendant is expected to give evidence today.