All Blacks’ Zac Guildford has been sentenced to nine months’ home detention for fraud charges against his family and friend, including one against his grandfather!
According to the Stuff website, the 33-year-old, who is based in Greytown, appeared in the Masterton District Court on Friday after he admitted stealing $41,500 from his grandfather via online banking and to another charge of defrauding a friend of $60,000 in May.
Both acts were reportedly as a result of a gambling addiction.
Guildford did not seek permanent name suppression.
In addition, he was also sentenced on driving charges relating to an incident last August when he was caught driving while his licence was suspended.
The driving charge carries a maximum penalty of three months in prison, a NZ$4 500 fine, and six months disqualification from driving.
“What’s serious about this is it is offending against someone who’s vulnerable,” Judge Noel Sainsbury said.
“It was a gross breach of trust and the impact of the offending will ripple through the family for a long time. This was classic addiction driven offending.”
According to the court’s summary of facts, Guildford stole $41,500 from his grandfather, with whom he had been living, between March 30 and April 9 last year.
He was charged with illegally accessing an online banking account on nine separate occasions transferring as much as $10,000 at a time.
The theft begun to come to light on April 1 when his grandfather went to use his Internet banking app on his iPad and found it had disappeared.
Guildford told his grandfather that one of the other grandchildren must have deleted it, and despite repeated requests, Guildford made excuses not to reinstall the banking facility.
After several days of trying to get the app back on his iPad, the grandfather checked his Westpac account balance on April 9 and found the account was $29,000 in debt.
Guildford had paid $7500 back into his grandfather’s account on April 6.
Guildford made his All Blacks debut against Wales in 2009 and went on to win 10 caps in total. He was also part of the All Blacks squad at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Following the discovery of the theft, Guildford did not return to the house or respond to his grandfather’s calls.
The addiction turned him “into a husk of a human being you were before” and it was a form of illness. However, it did not excuse him ruining people’s lives, the judge said.
Guildford declined to speak to media afterwards, but his lawyer, Fionnuala Kelly, said he was extremely remorseful for what he had done.