A FORMER fraudster who was jailed for seven years for fraud totalling $6.4 million has been declared bankrupt.
Wellington tax adviser Patrick [Pat] John Renshaw had until yesterday to pay the Bank of New Zealand a compromised debt of nearly $12,000.
BNZ had sought the order last month after Renshaw failed to pay an undisclosed amount. The application was adjourned after BNZ agreed to give him a month to pay the compromised debt of $11, 296 by April 7.
But in the High Court at Wellington yesterday, Renshaw consented bankruptcy.
The application was supported by three businesses: Paddy Hannan Contracting, Marac Finance and FM Custodians.
Renshaw was previously involved in the high-profile collapse of Upper Hutt law firm Renshaw Edwards in 1992.
He was freed on parole 32 months into a seven-year sentence on 42 charges of fraud and theft involving $6.4m of clients’ funds.
His partner, Keith Edwards, was jailed for six years on 51 charges of theft involving $3.5m. Edwards served two years and seven months of his six-year sentence.
The firm collapsed after the two partners committed the multimillion-dollar frauds separately and unknown to each other.
The collapse eventually hit the pockets of 2800 of the country’s senior lawyers, resulting in tougher control of lawyers’ trust funds.
In 1996 the Law Society settled more than 400 Renshaw Edwards claims totalling about $29.
The settlement cost the senior lawyers $10,000 each, as well as their annual $500 fidelity fund fee because their fidelity fund could not cover the payout.
The men were prosecuted for less than $10m by the Serios Fraud Office, but the society accepted they had caused client losses of $29m.
The Dominion Post. Tusday, April 8, 2014. P. A6