Christchurch drainage firm charged for fraud

Aerial view of liquefaction and earthquake damaged houses in Burwood, Christchurch. Photo / File
Aerial view of liquefaction and earthquake damaged houses in Burwood, Christchurch. Photo / File

The operations manager of a Christchurch drainage firm who defrauded residents after the deadly February 2011 earthquake has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention and 16 months of supervision.

Graham Lilley of Alligator Drainage appeared for sentence today at Christchurch District Court on 21 charges of obtaining through deception.

Lilley had done drainage work legitimately for 18 complainants, the court heard, but had wrongly told them he had an arrangement through EQR, meaning they'd be reimbursed their payment for the job.

Judge Jane Farish told the court that Lilley had already paid $20,000 in reparation.

The remaining $10,400 would be paid back weekly at $100 a week, the court heard.

Commerce Commission's Consumer Investigations Manager Stuart Wallace welcomed the end of the fraud case.

"The Commission has been prioritising complaints about potentially illegal behaviour related to the Christchurch rebuild and working with other agencies where appropriate," he said.

"We are pleased that this case has finally been resolved and Mr Lilley has admitted the offending. Hopefully today's sentencing provides some closure for the affected landowners who have been left out of pocket and suffered the stress of his offending."

Alligator Drainage was placed in liquidation in March 2014, owing creditors just over $470,000.

Of the initial total loss of $220,000 borne by the landowners in this case, just over $100,000 has or will be repaid to complainants through EQC retrospectively approving some claims and reparation payments by Mr Lilley to other consumers.

- NZ Herald

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