18 Nov 2009

Firm convicted of property scheme deception

6:56 pm on 18 November 2009

An Invercargill property company has been found guilty of misleading people into believing they were buying their own homes.

CMA Property Investments was convicted on eight charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act in the Invercargill District Court on Wednesday.

CMA was involved in a scheme with three other companies between 2003 and 2005 that allowed customers to occupy property in exchange for a 30-year instalment agreement.

It was not made clear to the customers, however, that the agreement did not give them legal title over the property until the end of the 30-year period.

CMA was fined $40,000 and ordered to pay more than $40,000 in reparations to customers.

The three other companies involved in the scheme pleaded guilty in August to breaching the Fair Trading Act.