Seventy-year old fraudster gets six-and-half years

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A seventy-year-old man was sentenced to six-and-half years prison term at the Auckland District Court today (July 2, 2019) on multiple charges of fraud, forgery and dishonesty.

Judge D Sharp sent insolvent car dealer Raymond Anthony Andrews who was accused of being involved in a luxury car scam.

Andrews first sought an adjournment because he had not had time to consider the Crown’s submissions. This was declined.

He then sought to represent himself. This was granted.

He then sought an adjournment for time to obtain a cultural report to examine the impact of his French Polynesian heritage on his offending. This was declined.

Bankruptcy and Dishonesty 

Crown addressed the Court briefly, primarily to stress the reasons why this case was such a serious example of bankruptcy/dishonesty offending in order to explore the Crown’s request that a minimum period of imprisonment be imposed.

The Judge agreed on the seriousness of the offending but did not consider a minimum period of imprisonment would be appropriate given the length of the sentence.

Andrews made lengthy submissions on a wide range of topics.  Most of this was aimed at undermining the jury’s verdicts by providing various reasons why his offending had either not occurred or had been exaggerated.

Lightning rods for recurrent criticisms were the OA, Nick Porter, and MBIE generally.

The Sentence

The Judge fixed the starting point at six years imprisonment.

He considered that Andrews presented a danger to the public and that he needed a deterrent sentence and accountability.  He considered that rehabilitation was not a factor which could realistically be taken into account given Andrews’ age, lack of remorse and previous history.

The Judge said that he was moved by the victim impact statements provided and noted the large amount of losses incurred by the victims.

The starting point of six years’ imprisonment was uplifted by 12 months to account for Andrews’ history, taking into account that he had effectively been offending on an unbroken basis since 2008 (only pausing while in custody).

Given the continuous nature of this offending, no discrete uplift for offending while on bail was imposed.

The Judge took into account Andrews’ age (70) and having trouble with one of his hips and reduced the Sentence by six months.

No other mitigating factors were identified.  No reparation could realistically be ordered due to Andrews’ status as a bankrupt.

The end sentence was therefore one of 6 years’ and 6 months’ imprisonment.

The exact breakdown of the sentences was as follows: Forgery Charges (12): 5 years imprisonment each; Use of forged documents ( 12): 5 years imprisonment each; Obtaining by deception charges (4): 6.5 years each; Misleading the OA: 9 months; Concealing (2): 2 years each; Management of a Company while prohibited: 3 years; Management of a business while bankrupt: 1 year.

The Stuff quoted Vishal Rishi, one of the victims as saying that he had ordered cars including Range Rover, Lexus, and Jeep from late 2015 to early 2016.

“I am yet to see a single car or a penny,” he said.

The publication quoted the Crown describing the offending as ‘egregious.’

“A prosecutor said that Andrews had since 2008 been effectively involved in an ‘unbroken string of offending.’ Andrews was jailed in 2013 for operating without the Official Assignee’s approval,” the publication said.

Mr Rishi told Indian Newslink that he and his wife Poonam were not satisfied with the verdict.

“The Sentencing has not reduced our emotional and financial pain. We are still unable to recover a penny from the fraudster,” he said.

Photo Caption:

Vishal Rishi with his wife Poonam and their children Dhanvi (daughter) and Heiaan (son). (Picture Supplied)

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