A 31-year-old property developer who sent false documents to the High Court in an effort to save his friend from going bankrupt has escaped jail time.
Ralph Anthony Vuletic was sentenced to nine months home detention when he appeared in the High Court at Auckland today.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charges of using a document to defraud, attempting to pervert the course of justice and making a false document.
In sentencing, Justice Murray Gilbert SC said Vuletic had forged a series of letters and a sale and purchase agreement to give the impression that his friend Marcus Julian Friedlander was owed $19 million.
Justice Gilbert said the purpose was to convince Friedlander's creditors to stop bankruptcy action.
"The fictitious documents were supplied to this court."
According to the SFO, Friedlander's failing property development and insurance brokering business owed more than $10m to creditors.
The pair formulated a plan to create a paper trail of a backdated sale of a property in Albany, north of Auckland.
But the ruse did not work and Vuletic's friend was bankrupted in 2003.
Justice Gilbert said he accepted Vuletic made no gains from he forged documents.
In sentencing, the judge started with a jail sentence of two-and-a-half years but took time off for Vuletic's youth - he was only 22 at the time of the offending.
Justice Gilbert said while Vuletic had pleaded guilty, the case against him was strong.
He reduced the sentence to nine months home detention but told Vuletic he would not be able to take drugs or alchol and had to do a drug and alcohol course.