The Susan Couch – Crime Victims Charitable Trust

October 25th, 2008 at 3:23 pm by David Farrar

Kiwiblog readers have been doing detective work and have discovered the – Crime Victims Charitable Trust was registered only a few weeks ago on the 10th of September 2008.

It’s trust deed is online at the Companies Office.

The trust deed was signed on 15 August 2008 and the application was signed on 20 August 2008. But Winston announced the donation around 16 June 2008. So how did he make a donation to a trust that seemingly was not then formed?

The contact person is of Hesketh Henry in Auckland. He is one of the three Trustees. The other two are and .

Yes two of the three Trustees are Winston’s personal lawyers – his solicitor and his barrister!! Half the $158,000 has gone to a trust run by both his personal lawyers.

The settlor is , an Auckland Accountant. Gillespie, Henry and Gates are all Directors of Goldman Henry Capital Management and in business together. They had some problems with the Securities Commission in 2004 incidentally, after the Commission found their prospectus did not comply with securities law and omitted a material particular. The investment statement was also found “likely to deceive, mislead, or confuse with regard to particulars that are material to the offer of securities”.

The Trust objects include “such other objects which the Board from time to time declares provided that such objects and purposes are charitable and involve the support and rehabilitation of crime victims”.

Board members can get remuneration for services rendered to the Trust. In fact it specifically allows such remuneration even if the work only comes about by virtue of being a Trustee. Note I am not suggesting any Trustee has received any money – just that as with most Trusts, they can.

There is no reference to Susan Couch in the trust deed, except being the name of the trust. Couch is not listed as the Patron, and the three Trustees have total power over the Trust.  She is not listed specifically as a beneficiary either. Again the Trustees have total discretion over who the money goes to (so long as within the objects), and Couch has no rights or say at all. So the Herald is wrong when they say it is “A trust for Susan Couch”.

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33 Responses to “The Susan Couch – Crime Victims Charitable Trust”

  1. Mr Dennis (348 comments) says:

    Ok, there’s something pretty screwy about this. Why on earth go to all the effort of making a new charity to donate too? There are plenty of existing ones. It does make you wonder whether there is some intention to route the money back into the party somehow, but I am not going to accuse them of that of course, I hope they are acting honourably. It just looks terrible from a PR perspective even if it is completely above-board.

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  2. radvad (620 comments) says:

    Why do I suspect this money will somehow find its way back to NZ1?

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  3. Pita (356 comments) says:

    No doubt Peters could argue that he was the victim of a crime.

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  4. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Sweet Jaysus, this is a fuckin’ disgrace! If anyone votes for this man or the people who support him they’re moronically corrupt themselves. Utterly mind boggling.

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  5. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    ‘scuse me while I double post here:

    I read on the deed that the board can pay themselves any or all of the contents of the trust if they deem that it repays them for their billable time. They have absolute control over the purpose of the trust and the original statement that it’s only for relieving poverty can be totally overidden.

    hahaha!

    ain’t that a cushy gig!?

    :lol:

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  6. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    Sounds like a crock of shit from Winston. Why am I not surprised?

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  7. Peter Cresswell (48 comments) says:

    Rather than donating to the richly-deserving Susan Couch, looks like Winston’s found a way to pay his lawyers fees — to lawyers who lie for a living.

    No wonder they’re “blood brothers.”

    And still the tax-payer waits …

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  8. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Magnificent in it’s formation as a twisted entity to pay current lawyers and ex-lawyers.

    Reminds me of those beneficial trusts set up for kids like Marc Bolans son.

    He eventually got some money back from the trust set up for his benefit.

    The lawyer in charge having scalped 70% of the Capital Value and all the Interest.

    95% of Lawyers give the others a bad name apparently!

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  9. Lindsay Addie (1,105 comments) says:

    Don’t fret I’m sure the Poodle can explain it all in 3 minutes……

    :lol:

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  10. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Hang on a minute, ignore everything above please.

    It’s not their money, and they have in fact stolen it from the Tax Payer.

    We want it back with Interest!

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  11. Spam (586 comments) says:

    The Herald approached Susan Couch in June to ask if she had received money from New Zealand First but she said she had not.

    It is possible the money was not sent directly from the party and was perhaps routed through a trust such as the Spencer Trust or that she did not know the source of her donors.

    Sensible Sentencing Trust chairman Garth McVicar said he heard of the Susan Couch trust in June at the time of the Supreme Court decision.

    Mr McVicar said they had been looking at ways of buying Ms Couch a freehold house and Mr Henry said he had set up a trust for her.

    “I don’t know how much Sue would know about the trust. She’s not a trustee.”

    Mr McVicar said he knew a donation had been made but not who it was from or for how much.

    “Sue hasn’t got the money. As far as I know and as far as Sue knows, the money is still in the trust.”

    Link to Herald Story

    Interesting – Garth McVicar has integrity & credibility. Was he lead down the path as well? Wonder if he’ll comment on the trust not being formed until august.

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  12. Barnsley Bill (931 comments) says:

    GM.. You have that wrong I am afraid.
    The money that NZ First stole from the tax payer is gone…………. And has not been repaid.
    This money is likely to have come from the Vela’s. You know the off shore based racing industry luminaries who have just received an extra 9 million in our money thanks to Winston… This backhander is now in the hands of his lawyer.. You know the one.. He who lied to the privileges committee and then claimed a faulty memory.

    Enjoy the rant people, in 3 weeks when Clark cobbles together another coalition of crooks, poofs and commies the blogs will be on the kill list..

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  13. sooty (49 comments) says:

    More Poodle Shit!! Pay back the money.

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  14. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    Donations are often made to trusts that are not yet formed. Trusts need assets to be set up so often part of settling a trust is not just coming up with the concept but its also answering the question of where will the funds come from.

    The last trust I helped to create did exactly the same thing as it appears has happened here (though no politicians were involved!), the initial funding was sourced months before the deed was finalised and filed with the Charities Commission. In a couple of instances monies were given in advance and they had to be sat on until everything was finalised.

    Please do not interpret this as a defence of Winston, merely just as a possible answer to David’s question.

    That money was not easy to give away so it may well be that a worthy cause was sourced, a trust set up and then the money donated. It is despicable though that the alleged beneficiary/namesake of the trust has been gone after. I would have hoped that closer scrutiny would be put on Winston’s lawyers who are also trustees who also stand to benefit by way of remuneration for their services. I would want the question answered as to whether there was any breach of fiduciary duty given the hat wearing these two are doing as there are strict rules and protocols around using knowledge obtained from one fiduciary relationship to benefit themselves through a second fiduciary relationship.

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  15. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    IMHO Winstone is clearly giving the money to his partners in crime – they’ll be making overseas trips to do research or some such.

    What does Susan Couch think about her name being used?

    Clause 4.2.b of the trust deed (click on DPF’s link) allows the trustees to hire their cronies and pay them for services rendered.

    IMHO Winston is a crook and will be telling lies until the end: when his funeral is held a muffled voice will be heard, repeating over and over “I’m not dead, I’m not dead, it’s all a lie”. It’ll be an S-shaped coffin since he can’t lie straight, made at taxpayers’ expense of course.

    http://www.kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com

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  16. Colonel Masters (420 comments) says:

    I suppose this way he didn’t have to worry about the charity returning the cheque!

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  17. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    HAH! What is the bet that the “crime victims” that this trust is for, are Winston himself and perhaps a few associates? After all they’ve been put through by their political opponents and the media, hey that’s a crime after all, ennit?

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  18. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    Madeleine “That money was not easy to give away so….”

    One cheque made out to long suffering taxpayer would have sufficed.

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  19. Nookin (2,890 comments) says:

    I agree with Madeleine that we cannot read too much into the timing of the trust deed. It takes some time to get IRD approval for exemption and donee status. I would have thought a couple of months. If they are going to be charging for professional services, however, one would have thought that they at least could have signed the deed properly.
    Refer section 9 Property Law Act 2007
    (7)A witness—
    (a)must not be a party to the deed;

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  20. NeillR (345 comments) says:

    Is this perhaps an example of the “serious and complex fraud” that the SFO was investigating? If so, how come Phil Kitchin was able to find out the details but the SFO couldn’t?

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  21. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Excellent work whoever dug out the details of when the trust was established and who the trustees & beneficiaries are. What a self serving prick Winston is, no wonder Helen gets on so famously with him.

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  22. dave (985 comments) says:

    Garth McVicar has integrity & credibility. Was he lead down the path as well? Wonder if he’ll comment on the trust not being formed until august

    Well, I’ve just spoken to Garth McVicar and he had no idea that the trust wasn’t formed until August. Its well known that McVicar hooked up Susan Couch with Brian Henry but at the time he did not know that he was Peters’ lawyer. As is apparent McVicar would want to see Couch compensated. Whether this trust will do it, or whether McVicar thinks it will, well, I`ll leave others to decide that.

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  23. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    I smell a variation of hawala (just substitute one set of “ethnic bankers” for these “trustees” and the other set for certain donors and you should get the picture).

    Of course for that to hold true there’d have to be a great deal of trust between those involved, because anyone involved could simply refuse to do their bit and leave the other side hanging. But I believe there’s an old saying about honour and thieves…

    That is, of course, pure speculation on my part and not intended to imply illegality, or impugn anyone’s chacater. And is about as far as I’ll go here, knowing the litigiousness of some people…

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  24. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Rex

    Of course for that to hold true there’d have to be a great deal of trust between those involved

    Like if they were blood brothers perhaps?

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  25. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Well Helen did say this election was about trusts.

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  26. Jack5 (4,224 comments) says:

    Susan Crouch has maintained her dignity after the terrible injuries she suffered at the hands of the psychopath killer, who should have been jerked to Jesus instead of spending the best part of the rest of his life idle and maintained at taxpayer expense.

    I hope she gets the money from NZ Fruitloops and their leader.

    However, in fairness it should be noted that Susan Crouch’s relationship with Peters’ lawyer, Brian Henry, seems to be closer than the usual lawyer-client relationship. I hear today that, probably with the best of motives, Henry’s firm had Susan Crouch working for it to help her rehabilitation.

    Nothing is straightforward when Peters is involved, not even charitable gifts.

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  27. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Why the need for a trust in the first place? Why couldn’t Peters have simply donated the $78,000 or indeed $150,00 to Couch with no strings attached? He’s put her in a hell of a position where she is likely to be approached by the media. She doesn’t need that and it could have been so easily avoided.

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  28. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Whether Couch sees any money from the trust is debatable. I suspect it depends largely on whether she wins her court case and receives compensation from the Crown. Either way, her lawyers may simply take what’s in the trust and claim it as reimbursement for their expenses. So Couch could be left with nothing.

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  29. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    According to this 2006 article, lawyers “were working for nothing on her legal action against the Government and the [Sensible Sentencing] trust was paying her legal expenses and out of pocket expenses”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10399388

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  30. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Madeleine (39) Vote: 3 0 Says:

    October 25th, 2008 at 5:31 pm
    Donations are often made to trusts that are not yet formed. Trusts need assets to be set up so often part of settling a trust is not just coming up with the concept but its also answering the question of where will the funds come from.

    The trust was formed with assets of $10 – it’s on the deed. This has money laundering written all over it.

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  31. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,787 comments) says:

    Winston just doesn’t know when to quit.

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  32. Nookin (2,890 comments) says:

    I think you will find that 90% of trusts are kick statrted with a $10 settlement

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  33. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    I think we can assume that money laundering is a given. As Hagues put it, “one cheque made out to long suffering taxpayer would have sufficed.”

    Because the money was owed to the taxpayer, wherever Winston put it that wasn’t the taxpayer was always going to be controversial, that’s why I said it was hard to give it away.

    Closer scrutiny must be given to the proper construction of the trust and the conduct of the trustees as to whether any breach of fiduciary duty has occurred, that is where the energy should be directed.

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