SFO starts new Blue Chip probe

Thursday 22 July 2010

The Serious Fraud Office is to investigate allegations against an employee of the failed property investment group, Blue Chip, for alleged misinformation to investors and altering loan documents to induce financiers to lend.

By The Landlord

While separate from the rest of the SFO's major probe into the collapsed group, a final report on which has been completed and is under consideration, the latest investigation adds another sorry chapter to the tale of once NZX-listed Blue Chip, which collapsed in 2008 owing more than 2000 investors more than $84 million.

SFO director Adam Feeley said police had forwarded information "suggesting that documents provided to investors by a Blue Chip franchise employee were misleading".

"There is also an allegation that lending documents may have been altered by that employee to induce financiers into lending funds for property investments."

Police had decided the matters raised were appropriate for SFO investigation.

A decision on the transactions under investigation is expected in the few weeks, Feeley said.

Blue Chip founder Mark Bryers escaped prison in May when he was found guilty of 34 charges relating to the company's collapse, angering out of pocket investors who saw his punishment of a $33,750 fine and 75 hours' community work as inadequate.

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