An Auckland company director who stole more than half a million dollars - most of which went to fund his gambling habit - was sentenced to three years in prison when he appeared before Auckland District Court this week.

John Henry Ede, who was operating the Neil Timber Limited (NTL) company illegally, was found guilty on more than 20 charges.

Most were for theft by a person in a special relationship and involved a total amount of $501,658.

Ede, who is bankrupt and was disqualified as a company director, was also found guilty of managing a company after he was declared bankrupt and prohibited to do so.


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said during Ede's three week trial the court heard he had diverted money meant for NTL to another company Neil Timber Trustees Limited (NTTL).

The NTTL bank account was then predominantly used for his expenditure. Much of the stolen funds were gambled away, the ministry said.