Two victims of a car-dealing con artist say they made "the biggest mistake of our lives" after losing their life savings in a luxury vehicle scam.
Raymond Anthony Andrews, 69, was sentenced today by Judge David Sharp in the Auckland District Court to six and a half years' imprisonment.
His occupation is listed on court documents as a salesman - it should have read fraudster.
Andrews was found guilty by a jury in March of conning his victims into handing over some $700,000 for the promise of high-end luxury cars between 2015 and 2017.
He was charged with forgery, using forged documents, obtaining by deception, managing a company whilst prohibited, managing a business without the consent of the Official Assignee (OA), concealing property, and wilfully misleading the OA.
The case was a joint-prosecution by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's integrity and enforcement team and police.
It was the latest offending in a string of frauds for the undischarged bankrupt, which the Crown said was one of the most egregious bankruptcy cases to come before the courts.
Andrews' victims included his own daughter, in whose name he had opened a bank account and used it secretly without disclosing it to the OA.
Judge Sharp said Andrews showed no remorse and presented a clear danger to the public.
Andrews was previously jailed in 2013 for 15 months for controlling a business while bankrupt, obtaining credit by deception and concealing two bank accounts.
Judge Thomas Ingram said at the time that Andrews "deceived and preyed on vulnerable people" and was a "serial liar".
"I have met some liars in my 35 years working in the courts but the lies you have told have been significantly outstanding, and you even had the jury in fits of laughter because your explanations were so improbable," the judge said.
Two victims of Andrews' latest fraud are Vishal Rishi and his wife Poonam, who live in Mt Roskill with their two young children.
Rishi had moved to New Zealand from India in 2002 before marrying his wife, who joined him in 2008.
They then moved in to a car importing and trading business, Jameson Carter Australasia Ltd, and are now 50 per cent shareholders and co-directors.
But then they met Andrews.
"Ray Andrews has changed our lives forever," Rishi said in his victim impact statement to the court.
"Prior to dealing with Mr Ray Andrews, we had great plans for our family. By the end of 2017 we would move closer to our daughter's school and by the following year our son would be ready to go to the same school.
"So, when we met Ray Andrews in October 2015 he showed us great dreams and showcased his successful business set-up in Auckland. We had our plans to expand our business the same year."
He believed in Andrews' business model and agreed to buy cars from him, only realising later he had made "the biggest mistake of our lives".
"At that point we were not aware that we will lose all our life savings in this deal - our 13 years' hard-earned savings in New Zealand," he said.
Rishi said the financial and emotional loss of the fraud was unbearable.
"We have spent uncountable sleepless nights and our little kids have witnessed us crying many times ... As people say, time is the biggest healer, but in our case this is not true. Our financial condition is sinking from bad to worse.
"We were so distressed at times that I was ready to go to any extent to get our money back and could have gone and become a criminal myself. But the support and advice from my family stopped me."
Rishi and his family also considered returning to India and remain unsure about what to do, while his business and self-confidence to make deals also suffered.
"I couldn't trust anyone else ... This loss of self-confidence acted as a huge barrier in my professional life."
The total financial transactional loss to Rishi and his business was $345,000, he said, but the interest they are incurring on bank loans is sending them further into debt.
"He has been a repeated offender, a serial liar and a renowned fraudster," Rishi said.
"We would not like to see more innocent families become victims again."
OA and Registrar of Companies Ross van der Schyff said in a statement after sentencing that Andrews has "persistently breached his obligations under the Insolvency Act and Companies Act over a long period".
"These latest convictions represent a considerable escalation in his offending and he has caused real harm in the community, including to vulnerable consumers."