Former employee of Peter Jackson-owned company guilty of fraud

A former employee of a company owned by Sir Peter Jackson has been convicted of fraud.

Eugene John DeMarco was found guilty of six counts of fraud at a High Court trial in Wellington on Friday.

He was facing multiple charges of theft by person in a special relationship and obtaining by deception relating to the sale of several aircraft.

The frauds were committed while DeMarco was employed by The Vintage Aviator Limited, a company owned by Sir Peter Jackson and Dame Fran Walsh.

According to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), he broke the law in an attempt to rid himself of $1 million debt he owed a trust controlled by Sir Peter and Dame Fran.

"DeMarco defrauded his employer, a charitable organisation, a friend and a bank," SFO director Julie Read said.

"His offending was premeditated and driven by self-interest. The prosecution of such matters is an important aspect of protecting New Zealand's reputation as a safe place to invest and do business."

He will be sentenced at the end of October.