A pilot jailed for defrauding Lord of the Rings film-maker Sir Peter Jackson has failed to halt his bankruptcy proceedings, with investigators finding assets including a Ferrari and an airplane.
Eugene John DeMarco, 59, served a prison sentence after being convicted of six counts of fraud while working for a company owned by Jackson and partner Dame Fran Walsh.
The movie mogul was called as a witness during the 2019 trial, where he labelled DeMarco's fraud the "greatest betrayal" he had ever experienced.
DeMarco worked for about a decade for Jackson and Walsh's plane company, The Vintage Aviator Ltd, which specialises in making reproductions of old aircraft.
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He was later adjudged bankrupt on July 14, 2021, as a result of being ordered to pay damages and costs of $323,441 to two buyers of a Wellington house he was selling.
"[The buyers] paid a deposit of $120,000 but cancelled the contract prior to settlement on the ground that DeMarco had misrepresented the state of the property and had failed to disclose the extent of the property's lack of weathertightness," Justice Collins said in a Court of Appeal judgment released today.
DeMarco had gone to the Court of Appeal to try to suspend the bankruptcy judgment.
But Collins refused.
Among the reasons given to allow the bankruptcy to proceed was the right of the Wellington home buyers and others owed debts by DeMarco to have the matter settled "expeditiously".
Collins also noted the Official Assignee - an official in charge of distributing a bankrupt person's assets to those owed money - had found assets that needed to be investigated and potentially seized.
"Those properties and assets include real estate in New York and Florida, a Ferrari motor car in New York and a plane in New Zealand, the ownership of which may be in the process of being transferred to a company in the United Kingdom," Collins said.