26 May 2011

Accountant pleads guilty to fraud from family trusts

2:45 pm on 26 May 2011

A Hamilton chartered accountant has pleaded guilty to 10 charges of defrauding a number of family trusts he was administering.

Gary Soffe made his first appearance on the charges in the Hamilton District Court on Thursday.

He has admitted one count of false accounting and obtaining by deception and nine charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Mr Soffe administered the trusts, all linked to one family, for a number of years but resigned in February.

A forensic examination was carried out on the trust's accounts before charges were laid.

The thefts amounted to just over $4 million and his lawyer has indicated he will be able to pay reparation.

The names of his victims have been suppressed.

Gary Soffe will be sentenced in July.