GRANT MALCOLM HERBERT – former insurance company boss – and now a bankrupt – has been jailed for four years and six months after his conviction last month on 24 fraud charges.
Grant Malcolm Herbert was sentenced in the Auckland District Court. [Photo credit / Dean Purcell. NZ Herald]
Herbert was owner and managing director from 1991 of insurance brokerage Herbert Insurance Group, which collapsed in March 2011.
An investigation by the Serious Fraud Office found that he had received premiums from clients but failed to forward about $2.5 million of it to insurers, having some customers uninsured, the court heard.
He used the money to pay company expenses.
He also gave secret commissions to a a customer’s employee for referring insurance business to Herbert.
The company was overcharged by $220,000 as a result.
Herbert was found guilty of 17 Crimes Act charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and also found guilty of seven charges under the Secret Commissions Act for allegedly corruptly gifting to an agent.
Before his trial in the Auckland District Court Herbert admitted to using a forged document in relation to obtaining a credit facility in the sum of $250,000.
Serious Fraud Office director Julie Read said Herbert’s offences exposed clients to a risk of loss many times greater than the cost of the premiums which they paid in good faith, and represented serious breaches of trust.
“Mr Herbert’s conduct has also had the potential to damage the community’s confidence in dealing with brokers and thereby damaged the interests of all those brokers who act honestly.”
Herbert had about 4000 clients throughout New Zealand.”
The NZ Herald 16 October 2014. By Hamish Fletcher.
Dominion Post, 17 October 2014. B5. Fairfax NZ
Notes: A.J. McKay, Joint Liquidator of Herbert Insurance Group Ltd (In liq) has issued a “Notice of Intention to Remove Company From Register” dated 26 September 2014, which accompanied their final liquidation report. See: www.companies.govt.nz