6 Oct 2014

Long jail term expected for ex-lawyer

4:45 pm on 6 October 2014

A judge has told a former Dunedin lawyer struck off for misappropriating almost $2.8 million to expect a lengthy prison sentence.

John David Milne has admitted 33 criminal charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The charges relate to eliciting money from clients or associates on the premise that he would invest that money and pay them a return.

Mr Milne had a client base in Dunedin derived from his previous legal work in a sole practice there.

At the Christchurch District Court today, Judge Jane Farish granted the 79-year-old bail until the end of November to help an elderly friend move house.

She said Milne had caused enough harm already to innocent parties and his immediate imprisonment would adversely affect his friend.

Judge Farish told Milne that when he returned to court for sentencing on 26 November, he should be prepared for a lengthy term in jail.

The SFO said Milne operated a Ponzi-style scheme over a 15-year period from 1991 until 2012.