Businessman admits forging signatures

Court House from Victoria Sq-101A businessman has admitted three charges of dishonestly using documents by forging signatures, although the amount involved remains in dispute and the case is heading for a hearing.

Paul Martin Encell, 51, of Oxford, entered guilty pleas in the Christchurch District Court today and Judge Brian Callaghan remanded him on bail for a case review session on June 13.

That session will settle a date for a disputed facts hearing before a judge which will decide the amount that will have to be paid back to the victims – two building supply companies and a finance company.

The victims were listed at court as the Carter Group, Mitre 10, and Marac Finance or Heartland Bank.

Encell was the sole director of the now-liquidated Encell Group Ltd.

Liquidators found that Encell’s company owed more than $300,000 to creditors when it was liquidated in October.

Police prosecutor Glenn Henderson said Encell had forged the signature of both guarantors when he opened a trade account with the Carter Group. He also forged the signatures of the two witnesses.

When Encell failed to pay for items bought on the trade account, the Carter Group applied to the High Court to liquidate the Encell Group company. The amount of money unpaid is disputed.

He also forged signatures for a guarantor and witness when he opened a trade account with Mitre 10. Police say he defaulted on payment but the amount involved is disputed.

He also admitted forging a signature for a business lease agreement with Marac Finance through which he received two vehicles, A Ford Ranger and a Hyundai Santa Fe. The police allege money was unpaid when the vehicles were returned to Marac, but the amount is also challenged.


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