A real estate agent embroiled in her husband's fraud has today been convicted for her role in accepting $150,000 of commissions for houses she didn't sell.
Shirley Anne Johnston, 66, obtained 13 commission payments from Selwyn District Council between March 2007 and July 2015 for work that she did not do, according to a prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Nearly $150,000 of the payments were transferred into a bank account controlled by her husband and business partner Stephen Rolf Gubb, the SFO said.
The main offender Gubb, 62, was jailed for two years and nine months earlier this year for stealing $300,000 from Selwyn District Council over eight years.
Gubb, who had previously been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud charges involving about $1.18 million, was employed by Hughes Developments to sell land, leases, and design and build packages for the local authority's business hub development, Izone at Rolleston.
But the SFO found that Gubb and Johnston, then a Phoenix Harcourts agent, worked together to fraudulently get commission payments for the sale of land.
Today, Christchurch District Court heard that Johnston is now living in a small Wanaka flat and trying to make ends meet by doing part-time work as a cleaner and gardener.
Judge David Saunders sentenced Johnston to seven months home detention and ordered her to carry out 200 hours of community work.
He stressed the importance of work as part of her rehabilitation.