A former Auckland liquidator has been found guilty of fraud, perjury and obstructing a Serious Fraud Office investigation.
Geoffrey Martin Smith was convicted today following a judge-alone trial in the Auckland District Court that ran intermittently from March to July due to Covid-19 delays and restrictions.
After defending himself during the proceeding, Smith was found guilty by Judge Russell Collins of two charges counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, two counts of perjury and two charges of obstructing an investigation.
Smith, who claimed he was immune from prosecution and the SFO had defamed him, was found to have stolen about $130,000 from two companies.
The SFO had initially alleged he stole about $270,000 from the two companies, HAD Garments and HB Garments, after being appointed liquidator in 2013.
The companies were known as truck shops and sold goods out of lorries on credit terms requiring small payments over many months.
Smith's perjury charges were over documents he filed in civil proceedings concerning the same liquidation activities, while the obstruction charges were for his intentional failure to comply with two separate notices issued by the SFO during its investigation.
The 67-year-old has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced in November.
However, Smith is already behind bars for unrelated drug offending and has a lengthy court history.
He was made bankrupt by the High Court for a third time in 2017 after failing to pay the receiver of HAD Garments and HB Garments, BDO's Andrew McKay, some $595,775.
The majority of the owed debt - $540,000 - was linked to when he was acting as the companies' liquidator, court documents obtained by the Herald show.
Smith was ordered to repay the receiver after a High Court ruling in 2016 found that while Smith was liquidator $852,998 was dispersed from the companies' accounts, but $540,000 could not be accounted for.
He was also made bankrupt in 1989 and 2008.
Smith is also no stranger to the criminal justice system and his past offences include tax fraud, document forgery and theft.
He and his wife, Barbara Jennifer Smith, were found guilty and convicted on 94 charges for offending between 2001 and 2006 against the Tax Administration Act.
At the time, they operated a partnership trading as Trellis and Fence Warehouse in the small Waikato town of Te Kauwhata. The business sold trellis, fencing, posts and railing and from about 2001 also sold kindling, primarily to Solid Energy in Huntly.
An approach to the Inland Revenue Department by an employee triggered an investigation by IRD in 2004. The couple's unpaid taxes amounted to at least $570,000, the Crown said, according the court records.
Smith was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment and his wife given a nine-month home detention stint. His appeals were dismissed in 2008.
In 2000, He was sentenced to nine months in prison after being found guilty of theft and fraud while operating the Waikato-based New Zealand Free Ambulance Service.
His wife was also part of the scam and they were ordered to repay $6593 of stolen money to the Order of St John. Smith was also convicted of two fraud charges over his attempt to register the ambulance service with a false document in 1996.
In 1988, he was found guilty of fraud for the false valuation of machinery costing $159,000. He served nine months' periodic detention and was ordered to pay reparations.
In a response to previous Herald requests for comment, Smith has said his name was "registered, copy written and solely privately owned" and demanded payment for its use. He has claimed the Herald already owed him some $50m.
The Smiths have continued to deny the allegations against them.