30 Sep 2010

Man admits part in Green Acres franchise scam

8:16 pm on 30 September 2010

An Auckland man accused of a franchising scam involving more than 170 people has admitted three charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Keith Lapham, a former contractor for Green Acres, entered the pleas on Thursday.

The SFO says he obtained more than $3.5 million by deception when he sold sub-franchises to unsuspecting buyers.

It says he guaranteed them $650 a week he knew he could not pay.

The SFO also says he obtained $244,800 from Green Acres by making false claims about how many sub-franchises he granted.

However, Lapham's lawyer says some amounts and the dates involved are disputed.

A hearing over disputed facts will be held on November 29.

Green Acres says everyone associated with it has worked hard over two years to repair the damage Lapham caused to the business and its reputation.