20 Aug 2008

Hawke's Bay man admits $3m fraud

2:32 pm on 20 August 2008

A Hawke's Bay businessman has pleaded guilty in the Napier District Court to embezzling $3 million from an insurance company.

Blair Fitzsimons, 40, was the general manager and shareholder of Pioneer Insurance in Napier, which provided motor vehicle insurance

The Serious Fraud Office began an investigation in June last year into his business dealings after a cheque for $500,000 bounced.

The court heard that between December 2005 and November 2006 Fitzsimons dishonestly used money belonging to the insurance company to prop up a car rental business.

He then forged documents to cover his actions.

Judge Tony Adeane convicted Fitzsimons and remanded him on bail for sentencing in October.