Jail for dodgy property consultant

Wednesday 23 May 2018

A Christchurch property consultant who defrauded the Selwyn District Council to the tune of $300,000 plus will be going to jail.

By The Landlord

Stephen Gubb was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison on 14 charges of obtaining by deception in the Christchurch District Court today.

As an employee of Hughes Developments, he sold land, leases, and design and build packages for Izone - a Selwyn District Council business hub development located in Rolleston.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) took Gubb to court for fraudulently obtaining 13 commission payments of $300,828 from the Selwyn District Council between March 2007 and July 2015.

They said that Gubb did this by arranging for a real estate agent’s office to receive the payments and then the agent was paid the commission through them.

Nearly $150,000 of these payments were eventually transferred into a bank account controlled by Gubb and a co-defendant. 

The SFO alleges that Gubb’s co-defendant, who has name suppression, was complicit in obtaining the commission payments.

But Gubb also obtained $10,500 by submitting an invoice to the Selwyn District Council for services that were not provided.

Judge David Saunders added to Gubb’s sentence because he has previously been prosecuted by the SFO on fraud charges involving about $1.18 million in 2003.

On that occasion, he was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment on the charges.

SFO director Julie Read says the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offending which was not only deliberate, planned and long running, but a repetition of previous offending.

“Stephen Gubb defrauded a government body of $300,829, took advantage of his position and betrayed the trust his employer had placed in him.

“Gubb was given an opportunity to rebuild his life following his previous fraud convictions but instead chose to offend again.”

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