ACC fraudster guilty in property fraud
A second player in an ACC property fraud has pleaded guilty.
Gregory Alexander Hutt (54) today admitted in the Wellington High Court to a Crimes Act bribery charge brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
He was a co-offender with Malcolm David Mason (51), who was sentenced last year to 11 months' home detention and ordered to pay the courts $160,000 he had corruptly received.
Mason’s role was to procure premises for ACC, tendering for their development and negotiating lease terms.
Hutt was involved in property development.
When the story broke in 2010, the blog site, Whale Oil, made allegations naming a well-known, close-knit group of property players in Wellington.
The charges arose after ACC reviewed its leases, acting on complaints.
According to the evidence presented to the court today, Mason passed details of ACC intentions to Hutt (formerly a director of HiTech Commercial Interiors).
This information allowed Hutt, “the developer”, according to the Serious Fraud Office, to buy a site that Mason subsequently recommended to his superiors as being suitable for the new ACC branch.
Mason’s influence at ACC ensured Hutt received the opportunity to develop the new building and clinch a long-term lease with the ACC.
Once the lease was secured, Hutt sold the building for a profit and paid Mason $160,000 from the proceeds in July 2009.
In April 2010, media reports revealed the involvement of the Serious Fraud Office.
After this, Hutt and Mason met to discuss how to explain the $160,000 payment made to Mason.
The pair agreed to create a document indicating that Hutt had actually loaned Mason $160,000 and that this amount plus 6% interest was repayable after 12 months.
On July 26, 2010, the day before Mason was interviewed by the SFO, Mason transferred $9600 to one of Hutt’s bank accounts.