Man who swindled cash from Johnny Danger’s beer company lured another businessman into $40,000 con

Debt, deceit and scathing accusations lie in the wake of a dream.
Debt, deceit and scathing accusations lie in the wake of a dream. Photo credit: Supplied

A Hamilton businessman who jumped at the chance to quadruple his money now regrets getting involved with the man he says conned him out of $40,000.  

Jared Hunt, the owner of cable company Datatek, was convinced that Daniel Green was going to take his business to the next level. 

Eager to expand quickly just two months into operating, Hunt says he rushed into a deal that turned out to be too good to be true. 

"I'd only just started my business, complete naivete, moving too fast and it ended up stinging us to the tune of $40,000." 

Today he stands with social media comedian Johnny 'Danger' Bennett's family and at least five others, once strangers who are now united by their feelings of betrayal and frustration amid claims Green talked them into financial deals that were abandoned after handing over the money. 

In June Newshub reported that Green allegedly ripped off Bennett before and after his death. His family allege Green used company money for personal expenses and didn't pay company bills while hiding and withholding profits. 

Hunt says Green wandered into his offices late in 2016 wanting to "tee up a meeting". Green told him he had a sales team that sold an internet service provider which Hunt says was extremely appealing after recently launching his business specialising in fibre optic rollout.

"We got to know each other and he seemed to know just about everyone on all the networks and everything else," Hunt told Newshub.

The pair developed a friendship and Hunt grew to trust Green before taking him on as a civil specialist for Datatek in the South Island.  

Things started "getting interesting" when Green would call Hunt asking questions about how to do simple technical work. 

"Everything escalated from there," Hunt says. 

Bennett (left) was keen on growing his business like Hunt and were offered appealing deals by Green.
Bennett (left) was keen on growing his business like Hunt and were offered appealing deals by Green. Photo credit: Supplied

A few months later Green mentioned he had a family trust that if he put money in to, it would come back out at a multiplier of four to one.  

He explained to Hunt it was set up so Green and his siblings could "get ahead" without getting a handout. 

"It was on the proviso that their dad basically doesn't give them money for nothing," Hunt says Green told him. 

Green told Hunt his company was worth investing in and said if he gave him $40,000 he would put four times that back into the company with a $160,000 investment. 

He didn't think anything out of the ordinary about Green's alleged arrangement with the family trust and says Green's smooth-talking was convincing at the time.  

Set on growing his business by purchasing vans and going for fibre network rollout contracts in the South Island, Hunt borrowed $40,000 from a mate and two contracts were put in place; one between his friend's company and Datatek and another between Datatek and Green. 

Hunt's situation unravelled when Green failed to meet the agreements of the contract, coming up with "excuse after excuse". 

"Ended up turning out that this was it," Hunt says. "It was a really good lesson that I didn't need to learn." 

Hunt says because they had borrowed the money that was supposedly going into the trust, it forced his company into a hole. 

"Ultimately someone who knew our situation quite intimately stepped in and helped us out by giving us the full sum of money and saying 'pay us back as you will'," he explains. 

"As the business grew a little bit we were paying it back $250 a week, which was making us feel it a little bit because as a family we made less than $40,000 that first year."   

In March, a Hamilton judge deemed Green liable for the $40,000 as well as $3655 for costs and disbursements and $5,452.06 for interest, court documents show. 

Hunt says lodging legal action against Green took time because he couldn't be found to serve documents on. 

Hunt is not the first to voice a negative and financially-hindering experience with Green or admit to falling for Green's persuasive manner. Green is accused of making it impossible for Bennett's parents to carry on Danger's Lager after his death as the company was in dire financial strife, owing more than $373,000 to creditors as of June 1. 

Souces tell Newshub Green (pictured with Bennett left and right) is a "convincing con-man".
Souces tell Newshub Green (pictured with Bennett left and right) is a "convincing con-man". Photo credit: Supplied

According to Johnny Bennett's former girlfriend, Amanda Baker, who was interviewed in April, Green is extremely convincing in getting others to give him money. 

"Dan sold himself to everyone especially Johnny as this high up business-savvy guy who knew everyone and people in the right places," she said, "but he was just a fraud." 

She was dating Bennett around the time it was beginning to come to light that Green was being untruthful with them. Bennett was killed when he got into trouble on a rough road on Dairy Flat Highway in Albany, came off his bike and hit a power pole on April 25, 2018.

She believes she saw first hand how Green operated, labelling him a "con-man" who was good at selling a dream to others. 

Newshub has spoken with two other individuals who say they are collectively owed $150,000 by Green. As they are actively pursuing legal and criminal options, Newshub has agreed to anonymity as they seek remedies after guarantees were not upheld. 

A shareholder of Servetech Limited, a company co-owned by Green, who is the only director, told Newshub he and his business partner are owed $10,000 from money exchanged in 2016 originally for "an investment" which proved illegitmate. 

After Newshub published the scathing accusations made by Bennett's parents in June, which included information from the shareholders, Green got in contact with the pair and offered to sign an acknowledgement of debt. 

Green has until September 27 to pay the initial $10,000 plus the 33.33 percent annually accrued interest from August 29, 2016.

Hunt says he ultimately he feels sorry for Green. 

"I've got enough grace in my life to look at it like, do I want him stopped? Yes, I absolutely want him stopped, but ultimately if he could come out the other side, actually be changed and actually do what he needs to do to make it right, that's what I want to see happen. 

"I want to see him come out the other side. That's genuinely what I want."

Despite multiple attempts made by Newshub, Green refused to comment. His father Jeff Green, who has also faced a number of financial woes, declined to answer questions put to him by Newshub, except to state "he's my son". 

As Newshub continues its investigation all findings, interviews and official documents will be handed over to the Serious Fraud Office. 

Newshub. 

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