19 Oct 2012

Piano man jailed over customer fraud

6:25 pm on 19 October 2012

A former piano shop owner who struggled with his business has been sentenced to two years and one month jail for defrauding people whose pianos he sold.

Cameron Crawford, 30, was sentenced in the Wellington District Court on 9 charges of theft by failing to account and one of causing loss by deception.

His business, the Piano Shop, went into liquidation in May this year.

In the preceding years the profits from pianos he sold on behalf of customers went into propping up the failing business, rather than being returned to the vendors.

Crawford's lawyer sought a community-based sentence, saying his client had a serious depressive illness and had not offended to benefit himself.

However, Judge Denys Barry said the offending involved a gross breach of trust and a jail term was needed to reflect that.