Serial fraudster gets 15-year ban from being a company director

Lawrence Alexander David Branson-Marsters came to the attention of authorities last year after being told he was behind a company claiming to give loans to people when it was not registered to provide financial services.

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Lawrence Alexander David Branson-Marsters came to the attention of authorities last year after being told he was behind a company claiming to give loans to people when it was not registered to provide financial services.

A man with 119 convictions who poses as a mortgage lender has been banned from being a company director or director for 15 years.

Lawrence Alexander David Branson-Marsters came to the attention of authorities last year after being told he was behind a company claiming to give loans to people with bad credit histories despite being unregistered to provide financial services.

A cease and desist application has been lodged with the Auckland High Court by the Registrar of Companies.

Branson-Marsters’ extensive criminal history included 119 convictions, including 74 dishonesty convictions for burglary, dishonest use of documents and obtaining by deception, as well as 30 offenses related to failure to comply with bankruptcy obligations, Judge Geoffrey Venning said in a judgment last month.

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Judge Venning said that only in the most serious cases was a ban of more than 10 years warranted and Branson-Marsters’ actions warranted such a ban.

“Given that Mr. Branson-Marsters’ current age is 60, a period of 15 years is appropriate,” the judge said.

Branson-Marsters did not object to the ban.

High Court Judge Geoffrey Venning said Lawrence Alexander David Branson-Marsters' criminal history included 119 convictions, including 74 dishonesty convictions for burglary, dishonest use of documents and obtaining by deception, as well as 30 offenses relating to the breach of bankruptcy obligations.

Abigail Dougherty / Stuff

High Court Judge Geoffrey Venning said Lawrence Alexander David Branson-Marsters’ criminal history included 119 convictions, including 74 dishonesty convictions for burglary, dishonest use of documents and obtaining by deception, as well as 30 offenses relating to the breach of bankruptcy obligations.

Judge Venning described Branson-Marsters’ long list of dishonest behavior.

In 2005, Branson-Marsters pleaded guilty to filing numerous false GST returns while involved in running five companies and one trust.

“Mr. Branson-Marsters claimed significantly inflated equipment costs and GST deductions on inputs for machinery and vehicles allegedly purchased by his businesses,” the judge said.

“He also dishonestly issued invoices for work done by the companies that may have involved counterfeiting. The overall loss was $340,000.

The companies and trusts involved were Kings Oak Limited, Precision Cut & Drill Limited, Extreme Helicopters Limited, K&D Contractors Limited and Oaklands Trust.

After serving time in prison for the offense, on August 23, 2011, Branson-Marsters was found guilty of failing to meet his obligations while bankrupt, the judge said.

In September 2011, Branson-Marsters was sentenced to four months in community custody on two charges of dishonesty involving the use of a document and one of obtaining by deception.

At the time, Branson-Marsters was the sole director and shareholder of Capital One Group Limited and Goldwing Property Investment Limited, which were deregistered in January 2013.

Most recently, Branson-Marsters was convicted and sentenced in October 2015 for a series of dishonesty offenses that occurred between 2012 and 2015, the judge said.

Cybercrime is the second least reported crime, after sexual assault, according to the Crime and Victims Survey.

The offense included involving a neighbor as a director of a company, in which Branson-Marsters convinced him to invest, then another dishonesty offense involving obtaining by deception and a charge of having caused a loss by deception.

He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2015, resulting in an automatic five-year ban as a director, the judge said.

“Despite this, it appears that Mr Branson-Marsters then sought to incorporate another company, H&D Property and Developments Investments Limited, under the name David Harding in 2020.”

In December last year, six further charges under the Companies Act were filed against Branson-Marsters.

These charges are currently before the court.

Branson-Marsters also appears to have been involved with three other companies, Tamehana Holdings Limited, The Barking Dog Botany Downs Limited and Qualifund Limited.

Bryce Rayner, principal investigator for the Integrity and Enforcement Team at the Department of Business, Innovation and Jobs, estimated that the sum total of losses caused by dishonesty crimes, personal bankruptcies and Branson-Marsters corporate mismanagement exceeds $2.1 million. .

Judge Venning said Branson-Marsters changed his name at least three times.