21 Jul 2011

Hamilton accountant jailed for $4m fraud

5:32 pm on 21 July 2011

A Hamilton accountant has been jailed for five years and one month for stealing millions of dollars from family trusts.

Gary Soffe, 52, was sentenced at the Hamilton District Court on Thursday on one charge of false accounting and nine counts of theft by a person in a special relationship. He pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

Between 2006 and 2010, Soffe stole $4.1 million from a number of family trusts he had been managing on behalf of one family.

Judge Glen Marshall says the motivation for the crime was a misguided sense of entitlement to money that wasn't his, and was a serious breach of trust.

He said a message had to be sent to others holding a similar professional position to Soffe.

One of Soffe's victims says the accountant was always cold and aloof. Speaking outside the court, he said he was reasonably happy with the sentence but did not believe Soffe had much remorse.

Permanent name suppression was granted to victims of the fraud.