A Christchurch real estate agent Shirley Johnston has been sentenced to seven months' home detention for her part in her husband's fraudulent scheme.
A Christchurch real estate agent Shirley Johnston has been sentenced to seven months’ home detention for her part in her husband’s fraudulent scheme.
Shirley, 66, obtained 13 commission payments from the Selwyn District Council for work she didn’t do, according to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Those payments, made between March 2007 and July 2015, were for property sales Johnston claimed to have organised in relation to the council’s Rolleston business hub development Izone.
With husband Stephen Gubb, Johnston received more than $300,000 in fraudulently obtained commissions from the council. Almost half of that money was eventually transferred into a bank account controlled by the couple.
Gubb, who was working as a property consultant for the company supervising the Izone development, arranged for his wife’s real estate office to be paid the 13 fraudulent commissions. Johnston was then paid $149,094 for the work she claimed to have done.
In the Christchurch District Court on Thursday, Johnston admitted one representative charge of obtaining money through deception. The court heard that Johnston is now living in a small flat in Wanaka and working part-time as a cleaner and gardener.
Judge David Saunders sentenced her to seven months’ home detention, as well as 200 hours of community work.
Her husband is currently serving a jail sentence of two years and nine months for fraud, as well as a separate conviction of submitting a false invoice to the council.
Gubb was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 for a previous fraud conviction.