A registered valuer attempted to defraud a beef farming association by creating a fake AGM document and using his near-blind mum as a witness.
In March last year Garry Desmond Lopes attempted to use fake minutes from the New Zealand Wagyu Breeders' Association's general meeting to withdraw $10,500 from the group's ANZ account.
Today the 53-year-old appeared at the Auckland District Court and was sentenced to 180 hours' community work for making a false document with the intention to obtain property.
He had last month been found guilty by Judge Ajit Singh at a judge alone trial.
Lopes has been involved in the wagyu industry for several years, and according to Companies Office records was the director and shareholder of Pure New Zealand Wagyu Limited.
His father, the late Ken Lopes, was also one of the founding members of the original wagyu association in the 1990s, before Lopes attempted to resurrect it in 2014.
The court heard how Lopes, who has also worked as a property specialist for Auckland Transport and as a commercial valuer for Quotable Value, used names on the fake minutes of those who had given no consent, nor were at the general meeting.
In an explanation for his offending, offered by his lawyer Kevin McDonald, Lopes said he wanted to freeze the account to stop others he feared were attempting to access the funds.
"Nobody took any money out," Judge Singh said. "The only person who took money out was the defendant."
The judge said Lopes' offending was at the "upper end of the moderate scale of seriousness", while the Crown submitted it was "premeditated, planned offending that had involved deceit".
"Particularly when the document you prepared was without the consent of people who you said where present at that meeting," Judge Singh said.
"The witnesses to the document included your mother who has serious sight impairment and a friend who in the evidence said he had not read the document."
Judge Singh ruled Lopes was attempting to deposit the funds into his bank account, but was only stopped when ANZ blocked the transfer from a fixed deposit account.
"You were in a position of trust, which you breached," Judge Singh said.
McDonald said his client, a former Bayleys real estate valuer who commanded a salary of $90,000 at the time of his offending, had offended out of frustration and a "sense of loyalty to his father".
He said Lopes had been "stupid and unwise" but argued he had no intention to spend the money.
Judge Singh said Lopes' conviction would likely see him struck off as a valuer, almost certainly ending his career in the industry.
McDonald added Lopes resigned his position when he was charged, is now unemployed and living with his mother in Northland.
An Auckland Transport spokesman confirmed Lopes resigned of his own accord when he told the Auckland Council organisation he was facing criminal charges.
The spokesman said there was nothing to suggest there was anything "untoward" during his time working for Auckland Transport.
According to Lopes' LinkedIn profile he worked for Auckland Transport for five and a half years.
When approached after sentencing by the Herald, Lopes said he had been instructed by his lawyer not to talk to the press.