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Property manager sentenced over Herbert Insurance fraud

A former property manager for Bunnings New Zealand has been sentenced to five months’ home detention after receiving kickbacks from failed broker Herbert Insurance.

Christopher David Green’s offending occurred between 2003 and 2010, when he was responsible for ensuring Bunnings’ premises across New Zealand were insured, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) says.

He “corruptly received secret commissions” of about $NZ220,000 ($184,000) from Herbert Insurance Group (HIG) “for referring insurance business to HIG”.

Bunnings was then overcharged by that amount.

“He retained [about] $NZ142,000 ($119,000) of that amount and it is alleged that he returned the balance overcharged to Mr Herbert, the principal of HIG, personally,” the SFO said.

Herbert Insurance collapsed in March 2011 and the crime was identified during a wider inquiry into the company.

Founder Grant Herbert is facing additional charges from that investigation.

Green, 66, was sentenced at Auckland District Court on Friday. He pleaded guilty in February to eight charges laid by the SFO under the Secret Commissions Act.