Wellington Scoop

Eugene DeMarco jailed for defrauding Peter Jackson’s aircraft company

News from Serious Fraud Office
A former employee of a company owned by Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh has been sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Eugene John DeMarco (57) was sentenced today in the Wellington High Court on six counts of fraud. Mr DeMarco committed the frauds while he was employed as The Vintage Aviator Limited (TVAL)’s production manager.

The defendant was found guilty by a jury in September. Mr DeMarco broke the law on several counts to rid himself of a debt of more than $1 million owed to a trust controlled by Mr Jackson and Ms Walsh and to dishonestly obtain a bank loan.

The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said: “The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of offending. Mr DeMarco defrauded his employer, a charitable organisation and a bank. He exploited people’s goodwill and trust through his offending which was premediated and driven by self-interest.”

DeMarco’s partner and young daughter were in court for the sentencing.

The court was not impressed by the defendant’s offer of what he characterised as ‘reparation,’ because the offers were made in the context of settling the civil lawsuit. The court viewed 40 letters of support in the context that the soliciting email from the defendant was generic, offered suggested wording, and in the email he had stated he was innocent of the crime for which he had just been convicted.

The defendant is an American citizen and resident of New Zealand. His attorney argued against prison because it would affect his future employment and his ability to travel internationally.

Peter Jackson said through correspondence that this was the “greatest betrayal he has ever experienced.” Fran Walsh wrote about the damage of employee moral, reputations loss, and loss to Vintage Aircraft. They did not appear in court.

August: Trial in High Court

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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1 comment:

  1. Lezie McGrind, 6. December 2019, 10:30

    There is no restitution. It’s just making the taxpayers fund $140,000 for two years of jail time. Community service and getting the money back would been a sentence closer to justice.