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SFO investigation results in early guilty plea

Media Release

16 January 2013

SFO investigation results in early guilty plea

Glenn William Cooper (39) plead guilty in the Manukau District Court today to charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) late last year.

Mr Cooper was facing five charges of dishonestly using a document following an SFO investigation into the property developer’s activities. This investigation focussed on five property transactions over the period July 2011 to September 2011.

Mr Cooper purchased properties at mortgagee sale (using one of the companies he was involved in, or via associates) and then onsold these properties to investors who were under pressure to consolidate debt. All of the transactions that are the subject of the charges involve members of one family. False Sale & Purchase Agreements (concealing his interest in the properties from the banks and investors) and misleading Loan Application Forms were prepared by Mr Cooper and submitted to the banks. The quantum of the offending is approximately $800,000.

Acting Chief Executive for the SFO, Simon McArley describes the case as an example of preying on investors who needed budgeting advice and realistic solutions rather than a scenario of further debt.

“The investors were sold on a fantasy that purchasing these investment properties would successfully consolidate debt and solve their problems. Mr Cooper played on the affinity he had built with one family in particular. This has only added to their financial strife. Investors need to remain aware of their vulnerability in such situations,” he said.

Mr Cooper is remanded on bail and will be sentenced on 8 March 2013.

ENDS

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