Internet computer parts trader's conviction upheld

Sentence is reduced, however

Convicted fraudster Hayden Simon, who was found guilty in March of deceiving customers and suppliers by using faked internet forms and banking lodgement forms while selling computer parts on the internet, has lost an appeal against the conviction.

The Court of Appeal, in a decision in August, upheld Simon's convictions, dismissing arguments from his lawyer on issues including whether the forms Simon created and altered fitted the appropriate definition in the Crimes Act, whether there was sufficient evidence he had altered the forms and whether the judge in the original case had correctly instructed the jury.

Simon was convicted of 23 fraud charges in the Palmerston North District Court on March 2 for offences that took place between April 2001 and May 2002.

He was charged with 13 counts relating to frauds against customers, six relating to frauds against suppliers and five relating to altering internet lodgement slips.

On one of the counts against customers, he was discharged, but was found guilty on the others.

While the Court of Appeal upheld Simon's convictions, it reduced his sentence term, ruling that the fraud sentences should be served concurrently with another sentence relating to unpaid fines, rather than cumulatively, as the District Court ruled.

The case prompted Hamilton company Kiwi Computer Services to put a notice on its website stating it has nothing to do with Kiwi Komputers, the entity under which Simon traded, or with Simon himself.

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