Fraud charges for development project

Thursday 16 February 2017

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced today that charges against four people involved in an Auckland development have been filed at the Auckland District Court.

The four defendants each face four charges of “Obtaining by deception” and two charges of “Using forged documents” under the Crimes Act.

Name suppression has been lifted on two of the defendants and was not sought by another.

The defendants in the matter are property developer Leonard John Ross, company director Michael James Wehipeihana, self-employed consultant Vaughn Stephen Foster and one other.

It is alleged that the defendants made false statements and used forged documents in order to obtain a credit facility from the ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited.

This was to allow property development company Emily Projects Limited, which no longer exists, to develop the Waldorf Celestion Apartment Hotel in Auckland.

It is alleged that a loan facility of approximately $40 million was obtained.

SFO director Julie Read said the SFO alleges that the defendants conspired to mislead ANZ to secure a loan facility. 

“The banks are entitled to expect that businesses will provide accurate information in support of their loan applications and a failure to do so may have cost implications for all.”

Read more:

Developer under SFO investigation 

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