SFO alleges $1.7b fraud with South Canterbury Finance

Stuff reports:

boss Adam Feeley confirmed the total estimated value of the allegedly fraudulent transactions was about $1.7 billion, which includes an esimated $1.59 billion from entering the Crown Retail Deposits Guarantee Scheme. …

“The collapse of was one the most significant of all the failed finance companies. The value of the fraud alleged to have been committed exceeds anything in the history of white-collar crime in New Zealand, and the time we have taken to complete this matter is a reflection of that scale,” Feeley said.

The SFO spent 14 months investigating the company and the charges it has laid cover a variety of offences, including theft by a person in a special relationship; obtaining by deception; false statements by the promoter of a company; and false accounting. The offences carry maximum penalties of between seven and ten years imprisonment.

“It is not appropriate at this point to comment on details of the allegations, but the investigation itself has been one of the most resource-intensive and time-consuming in recent history,” Feeley said.

SCF founder and chairman and Allan Hubbard, was facing 50 fraud charges relating to his private investment vehicles Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds, but was killed in a car accident in September.

This won’t restore the money to those who lost it, principally taxpayers, but it is important there is accountability over SCF’s management and alleged mismanagement.

Of course it is up to the trial process to determine if any laws were broken, and by whom.

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