25 Jul 2014

Guilty plea in magazine advert scam

8:00 pm on 25 July 2014

An operation led by the Serious Fraud Office has uncovered an advertising invoice scam based in Wellington that's generated more than $1 million.

The SFO says James Stephen Burns has pleaded guilty to charges under the Crimes Act relating to the scam which involved selling advertising in magazines that were never printed or for which the circulation was grossly misrepresented.

The magazines were titled in a way that suggested worthwhile causes such as road safety or parenting. The SFO said scam generated about $1.6 million from 2008 to 2012.

A co-defendant, Terran Elizabeth Dow, was sentenced in October last year, while three other people have been committed for trial.

Burns, 41, will be sentenced on 19 September.