Judge demands reparation payment before sentencing
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll called for an actual money transfer for reparations before he sentenced businessman Mark Brewer today at the Auckland District Court.
After a short recess to allow for the money transfer, the judge handed Mr Brewer the minimum sentence of a $5000 fine and no home detention.
Mr Brewer’s sentence relates to his conviction for management of Intervest Global (NZ) in 2010 while he was bankrupt, which is a breach of the Insolvency Act. He pled guilty in July.
In a last-ditch effort in court today, Mr Brewer offered to make a full $190,000 in reparation over four installments if he was allowed to travel. Restricting his travel plans would hinder his ability to make money and pay reparations, he argued.
Judge O’Driscoll gave the court an hour break so Mr Brewer's business partner David McEwen could make a $100,000 payment to a solicitor's trust account. Once the bank check clears, expected tomorrow, the money would be transferred to the liquidators for Intervest Global (NZ).
Three additional installments of $30,000 would be made at 30-day intervals.
Judge O’Driscoll said if Mr Brewer misses a payment, an appeal could be lodged and Mr Brewer could be re-sentenced.
Prosecution sought home detention regardless of the reparation payments.
Judge O’Driscoll questioned the severity of home detention when the plaintiff was offering, in effect, a full reparation payment to a third party.
“It’s not something that happens everyday in court,” Judge O’Driscoll said in court.
Judge O’Driscoll said his sentencing had to consider if the damages to the victim were satisfied.
“[The] $190,000 is not a matter of buying his way out of home detention,” Judge O’Driscoll said.
In past proceedings, Mr Brewer had only “offered” to pay reparations but now he was ready to make the payment, Judge O’Driscoll said.
“To see the colour of someone’s money carries far more weight,” Judge O’Driscoll said.
Later, at sentencing, the judge gave Mr Brewer "maximum credit" for his reparation payment and guilty plea. Home detention, the judge said, would only cause further problems from the bankruptcy, just as a delay in any civil proceedings.
Mr Brewer is a self-described “sales legend” at Phoenix Forex – a company that distributed a foreign exchange software system about which the Financial Markets Authority issued a warning in late August.
Outside the courtroom, Mr Brewer said "I'm certainly not disappointed. I think justice was done."