27 Nov 2012

Man charged with $3m fraud described as victim

9:09 pm on 27 November 2012

A man charged with obtaining $3 million by deception has been described by his lawyer as the victim in the affair.

Loizos Michaels faces 30 charges, some relating to a bogus attempt to take over the Sky City Casino Group.

The Crown says Mr Michaels obtained the $3 million during 2007 and 2008 by falsely representing himself as wealthy and representing the overseas interests, including one of Hong Kong's richest families.

It argues that former executives of Christchurch Casino Stephen Lyttelton and Peter Arbuckle, and others including National Party president Peter Goodfellow invested with payments in cash, which then vanished.

Mr Goodfellow lost $114,000. None of the cash has been recovered.

The Crown called the accused's actions "a series of bold frauds, on a grand scale, with large rewards".

But Mr Michaels' lawyer Peter Kaye says his client never received most of the cash in question and denies all 30 charges.

Mr Kaye says it is naive to believe that experienced business people would have become involved in what the Crown says was a brazen scam.

The judge will deliver his verdict following the seven-week trial on Friday.