Absolutely outrageous that someone who defrauds “customers” of $700,000 would have the gall to claim that 10 months home detention is “manifestly excessive”.
A woman who fleeced small businesses in a “sophisticated” fake invoicing scheme that used forged documents made in India has appealed against her sentence.
Sonia Klair, who is now living in Australia, in 2008 set up NZ Look, an internet-based directory where consumers could look up products and services.
During that year, the company began sending out documents that falsely told the recipient that they already had listings with NZ Look and invited them to sign on for another term.
The customers contacted were from a database that originally belonged to NBO, a similar business previously run by Klair and her then-husband.
From early 2010, Klair used forged documents made in India in an attempt to convince businesses they had previously signed on for NZ Look’s services.
These documents copied over customers’ signatures from NBO documents to NZ Look documents.
Klair would then send an invoice requesting payment for the listing to these “clients”.
Read the rest of the article at the NZ Herald
Read the Judge’s sentencing notes.
Sonia Klair started an online directory called NZ Look after she left NBO. From an outsider’s perspective both were being run as pro forma scams although Klair strenuously denied it. The Police, however, have had a successful proscecution and Sonia Klair has been handed down home detention.
Whatever your opinion of home detention it is a good day for small NZ businesses to have this prosecution. Both Klair and (ex?) husband Shallendra Singh relied on the individual loss being too small to warrant legal action – but they had so many successful hits (victims) that their income was significant.
NZ Herald: Home detention for $700k fake invoice scam
A former company director who fleeced $719,000 out of her victims by sending out false invoices has been sentenced to 10 months home detention.
Sonia Klair appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to 64 charges brought by the Commerce Commission under the Crimes Act.
Between July 2008 and August 2010, Klair ran a business called NZ Look Ltd which engaged in false billing practices, also known as pro-forma invoicing.
NZ Look is run by Sonia Klair. She came to our attention when she worked at NBO / National Business Online. She is upfront in talking about her site and claims to be running a legitimate business however the paper trail continues to link this new venture with NBO.