Brian Gaynor: Fraudsters take big interest in NZ

Monday 21 June 2004

"It would be nice to promo Investors International down under and make some real cash. Let me know. I'm convinced between you and (me) we could team up and make the trip very worthwhile."

By The Landlord

Paul Palmer, email, September 24, 1999

New Zealand has become a target for international fraudsters and their investment scams. These include false invoicing, Nigerian scams, bogus lottery prizes, property rip-offs, dubious foreign currency seminars, get-rich conferences, bucket-shop share offers and high-yield investment proposals.

High-yield investment frauds have become a huge problem. The Serious Fraud Office says more than $110 million has been invested in this area, and most of it has been lost.

Last week in Auckland four fraudsters were sent to prison for a total of 15 years and 9 months. Their "too-good-to-be-true" scheme was typical of the type of scam New Zealanders are falling for in large numbers.

In the 1990s Investor International promoted high-yield investment schemes in the United States. Its principal promoter was Rudolf van Lin who was convicted of offences relating to these fraudulent schemes in March 1999.

After the bust-up of Investor International's American operation, Donald Allen and Paul Palmer - also known as Gene Palmer - decided to set up a similar operation in New Zealand.

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