18 Dec 2012

Eight year prison sentence for fraudster

8:54 pm on 18 December 2012

Fraudster Loizos Michaels has been sentenced to prison for eight years for taking more than $3 million by deception.

Michaels was sentenced on Tuesday in Auckland District Court on 30 charges.

Twenty four of these related to money that Michaels obtained for a bogus bid to buy Sky City Casino.

Michaels was found guilty after a trial lasting seven weeks.

He denied the charges saying all witnesses who gave evidence lied. But the court was told Michaels was the one who had been telling lies.

The Serious Fraud Office says it is pleased with the sentence.

Acting chief executive Simon McArley says the jail term brings to a close a long, complex and sometimes colourful case.

He says the office is pleased with the sentence and it sends a message that there are consequences for fraudulent offending.

Michaels' lawyer Peter Kaye, however, says he is disappointed by the verdict and maintains those who gave evidence throughout the trial were lying.

He says his client was hoping for the best and maintains he's a victim as much as anyone else, as he has lost a lot of money as well.

Mr Kaye says he is still to discuss with his client whether he will appeal against both the convictions and the sentence.