Suppression lifts on businessman facing 67 charges

Name suppression has lifted on a Christchurch businessman, Nigel Terrance William Thompson, facing 67 dishonesty or tax charges.

Thompson, 44, of St Albans, has had suppression since first appearing in the Christchurch District Court in October. The number of charges has grown at a series of appearances.

He had to argue for continued suppression before Judge Tony Couch today, with the judge considering written submissions by defence counsel Craig Ruane, the police, and the Inland Revenue Department.

Judge Couch decided suppression on the ground of extreme hardship, and other grounds, could not be justified any longer and ordered the lifting of the order.

Thompson was not present at the hearing and Mr Ruane was given three hours to consult him and decide whether to appeal the suppression decision in the High Court.

Mr Ruane returned to court and announced that there would be no appeal, which meant the suppression order lapsed.

Thompson has been working as a car dealer.

He appeared in October facing 10 charges of dishonesty, totalling almost $50,000. Those charges included five of using a man’s eftpos card to obtain a financial advantage between July 20 and August 6, 2018.

He is also charged with dishonestly using the man’s cell phone and obtaining $35,000, with another charge of fraudulently obtaining $12,660.

A few days later, tax charges totalling about $230,000 were laid against him. These were 16 charges of failing to pay various forms of tax to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, totalling more than $200,000. Three charges of tax evasion allege offending totalling about another $30,000.

At the end of October, he was been arrested on 26 more charges. Those charges allege theft by failing to account totalling $108,446 and fraud charges totalling $69,389, as well as theft of a computer and the proceeds of the sale of a car, and dishonest use of a bank card. The new charges all pre-dated the alleged offending for which he was already on remand.

On November 1, 12 more charges, including allegations of causing a church to act on forged documents, were laid.

Not guilty pleas have been entered to the tax charges, and Mr Ruane has indicated that pleas will be entered to other charges when Thompson next appears at a case review hearing on January 24. Thompson remains on bail.