SFO charges ex-Sutton Group pair with attempting to defraud

BUSINESSDESK: The Serious Fraud Office has laid 33 charges in the Auckland District Court against two former employees of dairy producer Sutton Group it says were trying to defraud the Auckland-based company.

Paul Normington and Jin Weifing joint face charges of theft, dishonesty using a document and taking secret commissions, the SFO says.

The pair are accused of trying to defraud Sutton by creating false invoices, theft of product or receiving secret commissions from a supplier to Sutton, and Normington allegedly copied electronic files to help him set up a rival business.

"This is a case about potential loss avoided, rather than actual loss, in an industry that has national importance to New Zealand," outgoing chief executive Adam Feeley says. "This is a good example of how we can be involved in issues prior to a risk crystallising."

Sutton Group is a privately-owned food, beverages and dairy company established by Brent and Denise Sutton. The group also has packaging and engineering units.

Normington was employed as a purchasing manager at Sutton Group between September 2008 and December 2011, while Weifing worked as a purchasing assistant and warehouse manager from November 2008 to January 2012.

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Great work.

Keep it up SFO. NZ has been complacent about fraud for too long.

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If this pair have any sense, they'll ensure that their place of abode at time of sentencing is somewhere lavish with a lovely view, because in all liklihood that will be their cell.

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The SFO deals with cases 5 million+, no amount of money is mentioned in this article, the fact that "potential loss" is stated is suspicious. Fraud shoul d be proven on actual loss.

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