A man who took almost a quarter of a million dollars from friends in Hawkes Bay in an investment scam has escaped jail but been sentenced to the maximum possible home detention and community work.
Peter Jonathon Rens, 73, was sentenced by Judge Geoff Rea in Napier District Court today to 12 months' home detention and 400 hours' community work.
Rens had denied the offences, claiming the loss of the money was not his fault, but after a trial in December a jury found him guilty on 12 charges of theft in a special relationship relating to offences in 2004 and 2005, mainly against people who were fellow members of the Hawkes Bay Gliding Club.
It stemmed from a discussion after a day's gliding, and sums invested rose from one person's initial outlay of $5000 to another's $105,000.
Over about 12 months $243,000 was subscribed, but investors never saw their money again, nor any returns.