Shirley Anne Johnston, 66, a Christchurch real estate agent & wife of jailed fraudster Stephen Rolf Gubb, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining commissions from the Selwyn District Council in Canterbury.
In the Christchurch District Court on Monday, Judge David Saunders remanded Ms Johnston on bail until sentencing on 20 September.
Mr Gubb, 62, a former Auckland property consultant, was jailed for fraud for a second time in May, this time for defrauding the Selwyn District Council over commission payments at its Izone business hub.
Mr Gubb was sentenced to 2 years 9 months in jail after admitting the charges, brought by the Serious Fraud Office. For his first fraud conviction, in Auckland in 2003 on fraud charges involving about $1.18 million, he was sentenced to 4 years’ jail.
The Serious Fraud Office evidence against Ms Johnston was that she obtained 13 commission payments from the Selwyn District Council between March 2007 & July 2015 for work she didn’t do. Nearly $150,000 of these payments was transferred into a bank account controlled by her & Mr Gubb, her husband & business partner.
Ms Johnston received the commissions on 13 land sales as a Phoenix Harcourts agent in Christchurch. However, she wasn’t the real estate agent for these property sales at Izone.
Mr Gubb, who was a property consultant at the business park, instructed Buddle Findlay to pay $300,829 in commissions to Phoenix Harcourts, which then paid Ms Johnston $149,094 for her purported work.
Mr Gubb was jailed for his part in the fraudulent scheme as well as a separate offence of submitting a false invoice to the Selwyn District Council.
Mr Gubb was employed by Hughes Developments Ltd as a property consultant. His primary role was to sell Izone land, leases and design-&-build packages.
24 May 2018: Gubb jailed for fraud again
Attribution: SFO release.