The Dominion Post reports today: “[Stephen Peter] Crow, who is desperate not to carry a conviction as it would bar him from entering the United States where much of his pornography is obtained: said “I plead not guilty” [before Judge Russell Johnson in the Auckland District Court yesterday].
Crow’s “not guilty” plea was entered in relation to the Ministry of Economic Development’s allegation that he breached a banning Order imposed on him by the Registrar of Companies (served personally on him on 14 May 2010), preventing him for four years under s. 385 of the Companies Act 1993 from directing, managing or promoting a company in Australasia.
The Ministry has highlighted Crow’s promotion and management last year, of the NZ-based porn distribution company Eden Digital Ltd, now directed soley by John M Carr CPA, a San Antonio United States-based businessman and investor, as an example of Crow’s breach of the Order. (Mr John Malcolm Carr is owner, principal and registered agent of Better Business Services Inc. a US-registered corporation that owns a number of websites marketing and promoting hard core porn).
Crow told the Judge Russell Johnson yesterday that he would agree to plead guilty to the charge, but only if he was granted a “discharge without conviction” under s. 106 of the Sentencing Act 2002. The Judge naturally refused this ‘deal’ pointing out to Crow what most informed people already know, that such a discharge, if granted, is always conditional on the accused entering a guilty plea.
The Judge therefore declined the discharge application and indicated that if Crow pleaded guilty he would impose a fine. As noted, Crow refused to admit guilt and chose to enter a “not guilty” plea – forcing the matter to a defended hearing. This has been set down for three days commencing 12 September 2011.
If a person is convicted of a breach of s. 385 of the Act, a custodial sentence of up to five years jail or a fine of up to $200,000 can be imposed by the Court.