Fraud accused keeps changing briefs A Whangarei Link
Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:42 PM
Fraud accused keeps changing briefs
Last updated 05:00 07/05/2011
A former Waikato bank manager charged with a $1.4 million fraud has fired her sixth lawyer, forcing a delay to a trial which was just days away.
Susan Ann Bourton told the Waikato Times she fired Patrick O'Sullivan because he "hasn't done any work or any preparation at all".
Mr O'Sullivan was the sixth lawyer Bourton has fired since being arrested in July 2009 – though it's believed one stopped representing her because he hadn't been paid.
Her previous lawyers were some of the North Island's most high-profile, including Phil Morgan QC, Barry Hart and Chris Tennett.
People working on the prosecution believe firing Mr O'Sullivan is just another technique to postpone her trial.
Bourton wouldn't be drawn on whether it was a delaying tactic, saying she was not prepared to comment.
She told the Times to talk to her new (and seventh) lawyer, Whangarei-based John Watson – who refused to comment.
Bourton, a 35-year-old former Westpac business banker, was originally arrested on three fraud charges in July 2009.
However, further charges were laid in August 2010 while she was on bail.
Those related to her allegedly using an altered driver's licence in July and August 2010 to support a $1.5m funding proposal to Kiwibank and ASB Bank.
The money was going to be used to buy a luxury lodge near Karapiro.
She now faces 71 fraud and dishonesty charges.
Some of these charges stem from her employment at a Hamilton branch of Westpac between 2005 and 2006.
At the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday, Mr O'Sullivan asked Judge Philip Connell to be relieved as counsel after receiving a letter from Bourton's mother outlining several complaints.
An exasperated Judge Connell then told Bourton her trial would go ahead on Monday whether Mr O'Sullivan acted for her or not.
He said the case had already been going on a long time and if necessary Bourton might have to appear without a lawyer.
"That is what you are left with because of the way you have gone about this particular matter," he told Bourton.
Following that appearance, Bourton filed her own affidavit outlining complaints against Mr O'Sullivan. On Thursday she re-appeared in court alleging numerous failures by Mr O'Sullivan.
Judge Connell said there was too much conflict between the pair and it was now impossible for Mr O'Sullivan to remain her trial lawyer.
He granted Mr O'Sullivan leave to withdraw as counsel.
Judge Connell said a brief adjournment was needed so Mr Watson could get acquainted with the case and for pre-trial arguments to be heard.
Crown prosecutor Jacinda Forster told the judge she was not happy about the delays.
She said if Mr Watson were prepared to take on the case, he should be ready to proceed to trial on Monday.
Pre-trial arguments will now be heard next Wednesday.
A judge-alone trial date will be set in the coming weeks.
July 2009 - Phil Morgan QC
June 2010 - Morgan gone, Barry Hart
July 2010 – Hart gone, Chris Tennett
August 2010 – Tennett gone, Kit Clews
December 2010 – Clews gone, Patrick 0'Sullivan
April 2011 - O'Sullivan gone, John Watson
http://www.acc.co.nz had a former Westpac staff member on there payroll in a trusted position, didb't they???
Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:41 PM
A person who was in a position of power and trust.
Sounds all to similar to what has gone on within http://www.acc.co.nz and yet how often do there staff get prosecuted?
Banker's frauds took cunning, says prosecutor
By Natalie Akoorie
5:30 AM Thursday Feb 9, 2012
Personal banker Susan Bourton was accused of demonstrating a "degree of cunning" when she allegedly defrauded Westpac Bank and several of its customers of $1.4 million.
In a closing address at Bourton's trial in the Hamilton District Court yesterday, Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster said the fraud was complex and spanned a decade.
"It took some planning, some careful consideration and required cunning," Ms Foster told the court.
Bourton, 36, a former business banking manager at Westpac Bank in Hamilton, pleaded guilty in November to 25 ofthe 81 fraud and dishonesty charges shefaces.
She is said to have defrauded one of her clients of up to $750,000 by creating fake accounts and home loans with large overdrafts from which she could draw money.
The Crown said Bourton created accounts in her name using different spellings, and in other people's names to access hundreds of thousands of dollars while she was employed at the bank between early 2005 and late 2006.
The court had already heard that client James Harris discovered what a mess his finances were in only after Bourton left the country and Westpac Bank tried to sell his home by mortgagee auction.
He thought he and his partner had only a $265,000 loan on the home they had bought together in River Rd.
But the Crown says Bourton made dozens of transactions across his four accounts, including creating two home loans totalling $314,000 in the name of Mr Harris' family trust.
The Crown claims Bourton also used $98,000 to settle her own purchase of a commercial property in Lake Rd, which almost fell through because she had insufficient funds.
Mr Harris and his partner laid a complaint with police in December 2007 and Bourton was arrested in 2009 when she returned from Ireland.
In November, Bourton's lawyer, John Watson, suggested Mr Harris was a close family friend of the Bourtons and that he was completely aware of what he was signing when he authorised a $100,000 home loan the Crown says he was tricked into approving.
Bourton is alleged to have gained the trust of clients whom she then targeted and the Crown says she used her connection to Ireland to hide her financial "misrepresentations".
"This is to make inquiries into her legitimacies more difficult."
The closing addresses in front of Judge Philip Connell are expected to end tomorrow. Mr Watson has yet to give his address.
By Natalie Akoorie | Email Natalie
Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:53 PM
Banker found guilty of $1.4m fraud
By Natalie Akoorie
12:19 PM Friday Apr 27, 2012
A former personal banker who was accused of defrauding the Westpac Bank and several customers of $1.4 million, has been found guilty.
Susan Bourton had earlier pleaded guilty to 25 of 81 charges, but today after a drawn out trial in the Hamilton District Court, Bourton was found guilty by Judge Philip Connell of the remaining 56 charges.
The 36-year-old's offending, which the Crown said dates back 10 years, included several years when she was a manager at Westpac Bank in Hamilton and included defrauding one client of up to $750,000.
The man and his partner almost lost their home through the complex fraud.
Bourton was remanded back in custody for sentencing in June.
By Natalie Akoorie | Email Natalie
Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:15 PM
Former bank manager jailed
The Waikato bank manager accused of defrauding the bank and its customers out of more than $1 million has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
The scale and methods of 36-year-old Susan Bourton's offending were traversed in Hamilton District Court today in a hearing which took nearly five hours.
Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster discussed the escalating nature of the offending which led to 81 fraud charges stemming from dishonest behaviour over nearly a decade.
A letter of apology was handed to Judge Philip Connell at the start of proceedings, but he did not afford Bourton much credit for the belated gesture.
There were smiles and handshakes amongst Bourton's victims in the public gallery after the judge also imposed a minimum period of imprisonment of three years.