A dairy scientist self-dubbed the "father of colostrum" is claiming a miscarriage of justice after being found guilty and jailed for fraudulently using customer funds.
Trevor James Lock was imprisoned for six years in 2017 on 20 total dishonesty charges.
He was earlier arrested in Morrinsville in December 2015 after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into his activities with companies Nubiotics and Nu-brands.
Nubiotics marketed a range of colostrum-based cosmetics, active manuka honey and infant formula accompanied by impressive-sounding health and scientific claims.
Through the companies, Lock entered into a number of contracts to supply dairy and honey products, but he then used customer deposits from contracts to fund personal or other business expenses before failing to deliver on the deals.
Today, at a hearing in Auckland, Lock asked the Court of Appeal for a retrial.
The Waikato man, who now has long grey hair and wears glasses, appeared via video link from prison as his counsel Mark Ryan said his client "wanted to give evidence on his own behalf at trial".
Ryan, who is the third lawyer to represent Lock, criticised his client's trial lawyer Jeremy Bioletti.
He said Bioletti's handling of the case resulted in an "unfair trial".
"Mr Bioletti did not have one written record of any communications at all with Mr Lock," Ryan said.
Lock also wants to call witnesses in his own defence if granted a retrial.
"As a person charged he is entitled to the right to present a defence ... he has been deprived the fundamental right in the Bill of Rights to a fair trial," Ryan said.
One of the Court of Appeal judges, Justice Forrie Miller, said the panel would have to consider what evidence the potential witnesses would give.
Some of the defence witnesses were categorised as character witnesses, while one was also dead, the court heard.
Ryan said it may be that Lock "goes to trial, gives evidence - he might be convicted - but at least he'd had a fair trial".
The Court of Appeal judges reserved their decision on the appeal of convictions and sentence.
After Lock's sentencing, SFO director Julie Read said he showed "callous disregard for the consequences of his actions".
"Mr Lock deceived his customers and their agents," she said.
"He caused significant financial and reputational loss to his victims and in many cases personal suffering. By his deception, Mr Lock risked the reputation of an important New Zealand industry."
Creditors of Nubiotics had complained to the SFO over repeated claims by Lock that large offshore orders - notably from China, India and Russia - were imminent and would settle the outstanding debts.
Nubiotics, however, entered receivership and liquidation in 2014 after falling behind on payments to boutique lender Waikawau Finance.
In company literature, Lock was described as having a masters degree in biotechnology and bio-engineering from the University of Waikato and was formerly employed by Anchor as a nutraceuticals development manager.
Herald investigations also revealed a similar Lock company, Functional Nutraceuticals, collapsed in 2011.
Liquidator reports said the company was established in 2001 to export colostrum, but had later supplied Manuka honey and oil to markets in China and Russia.