Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Out of jail with new kitchen skills

Insurance broker Grant Herbert leaves the Auckland District Court. Photo / Dean Purcell
Insurance broker Grant Herbert leaves the Auckland District Court. Photo / Dean Purcell

An insurance broker who cooked documents to get credit spent his time in jail improving his culinary skills.

In 2014, Grant Malcolm Herbert was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for using client funds for his own expenses and for sharing a kickback with a senior manager at Bunnings Warehouse in order to keep the hardware chain's business.

The former managing director of Herbert Insurance also used a forged document to get a $250,000 credit facility.

Despite the length of his sentence, a parole board this year said Herbert did not pose an undue risk of reoffending and had support in the community.

He was released from jail to an undisclosed address in May.

The 65-year-old is banned from managing anyone else's money until 2019 and is also prohibited from running a company until that time.

While many white-collar criminals turn to gardening while in prison, Herbert spent his time getting cooking qualifications, his parole board decision says.

As an insurance broker, Herbert's company was paid clients' premiums and forwarded the money on to insurance companies, taking a commission from it.

The company was required to keep these customer premiums in a separate account.

However, between February 2009 and when the company went into receivership in March 2011, customer premiums were transferred into Herbert Insurance's operating account and used to meet a variety of Herbert's and the business' expenses.

The amount involved was about $2.5 million, said the Serious Fraud Office, which brought the prosecution against Herbert.

- NZ Herald

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