3 Oct 2008

Napier businessman jailed for fraud

3:23 pm on 3 October 2008

A Napier businessman who stole $4 million has been sentenced to a prison term of four-and-a-half years.

Blair Fitzsimons, 40, who was the general manager and shareholder of a motor vehicle insurance company, used some of the money to prop up his rental car company.

He pleaded guilty in Napier District Court in August to eight charges of fraud.

Judge David Ongley says the offending over a period of 18 months has had a devastating effect on shareholders in the insurance company.

He says they were left with huge personal debts and the possible sale of their own homes.

Judge Ongley ordered repayment of $250,000 to the victims at an agreed rate, after Fitzsimons leaves prison.