Rural stock agent charged with $2m fraud, pleads not guilty

The Serious Fraud Office alleges he deceived his former employer and clients.
The Serious Fraud Office alleges he deceived his former employer and clients. Photo credit: Newshub

A former employee of the largest privately-owned livestock and station company in the South Island has pleaded not guilty to charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Rural Livestock Ltd, which has its head office is in Christchurch, provides livestock agency services, including stock sale transactions, auctioneering and valuation services, clearing sales and introduces third parties to each other in respect of grazing.

Former employee, John Williams appeared in the Dunedin District Court on Thursday on 17 charges of false accounting, two charges of obtaining by deception, one charge of causing loss by deception and four charges of theft.

In a statement, the SFO said it alleges that Williams deceived Rural Livestock Ltd and his clients in relation to transactions totalling approximately $2 million.

He elected trial by jury and was remanded on bail to reappear in the Dunedin District Court on 24th January.

The investigation into alleged criminal offending was launched after the SFO received a complaint from the company.

The 38-year-old was employed by Rural Livestock as a livestock agent from June 2008 to May 2016.

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