Property developer jailed on fraud charges

A property consultant has been jailed for nearly three years for fraudulently obtaining nearly $150,000 in commissions from a South Island district council.

Stephen Gubb has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison on deception charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Working at property development company Hughes Developments, Gubb sold land and leases for a Selwyn District Council development in Rolleston.

He took 13 commission payments worth more than $300,000 between 2007 and 2015, nearly $150,000 of which went into a bank account shared by Gubb and his co-defendant, who has name suppression.

The SFO alleges the co-defendant was complicit in obtaining the payments. It is unclear whether charges have been filed.

Gubb, 62, also obtained $10,500 from the Selwyn District Council on a phony invoice.

He has previously been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud charges involving about $1.18 million. He was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail in 2003.

"Gubb was given an opportunity to rebuild his life following his previous fraud convictions but instead chose to offend again," SFO director Julie Read says in a statement.

A 2016-17 government review of the SFO found the enforcer has experienced “the most demand it has ever received,” with 831 complaints over the period, a 40% increase year-on-year.

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