By Edwin Mitson
Nubiotics and Nu-Brands principal Trevor Lock has appeared in court charged with running a dairy and honey business that generated $1 million by defrauding customers.
Lock was arrested in Morrinsville last month and today appeared at Hamilton District Court to face 11 charges of deception and forgery, including two charges of obstructing a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation, the law enforcement agency said in a statement.
The 54-year-old ran Nubiotics and Nu-Brands which entered into a number of contracts to supply dairy and honey, which the SFO says they failed to do.
Deposits weren't repaid, and the SFO alleges the money was used by Lock for personal or other business expenses.
The SFO says customers lost $1.06m and $US48,000.
Nubiotics was placed into receivership in August 2014. Nu-Brands remains in operation.
The charges allege Lock obtained a pecuniary advantage by evading the repayment of customers' deposits, made false statements concerning production and supply, forged copies of bank statements and dishonestly used other documents.
He's also accused of knowingly supplying false information to the SFO.
"The SFO considers that there is a strong public interest in prosecuting Mr Lock," SFO director Julie Read said.
"We believe his offending involved a significant quantum of money, took place over a number of years, was premeditated and repetitive."
Lock was remanded on bail without plea. He's next due to appear at the Hamilton District Council on Jan. 27.