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SFO lays charges for procurement fraud

Media Release

2 September 2014

SFO lays charges for procurement fraud

Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station.

Paul Kenneth Rose (42) faces four charges of obtaining by deception and Jane Clare Rose (42) faces two charges of obtaining by deception.

The SFO investigation alleges that in Mr Rose’s role as an Electrical Engineer at the Southdown power station, he, or companies under his control, fraudulently issued invoices of approximately $2 million to Mighty River Power for goods which those companies sometimes didn’t provide or services that were instead performed by Mr Rose himself or others. It is alleged that Ms Rose was also involved in the offending over a period of time.

The SFO alleges that the period of offending occurred between June 2005 and December 2012.

After an investigation undertaken by Mighty River Power in December 2012 they referred the matter to the NZ Police in early 2013. It was reviewed and subsequently referred to the SFO which commenced a Part 2 investigation in April 2013.

Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Julie Read said, “This investigation resulted from observations and internal checks at Mighty River Power. The company’s actions in referring this matter to the Police and the active support for the SFO’s investigation means that we are now in a position to lay charges and prosecute the people involved.”

The defendants will next appear in the Auckland District Court on 30 September.

ENDS

Note to editors

Background to investigation

Mighty River Power Limited is an electricity retailer and generator, which operates the Waikato Hydro System, five geothermal power stations in the Central North Island and a gas-fired station at Southdown in Auckland.

Paul Kenneth Rose was employed at the Southdown (Penrose) power station in Auckland from November 2001 to December 2012, initially as an Instrumentation and Electrical Technician and subsequently as an Electrical Engineer. Part of Mr Rose’s role was to identify what equipment was required to be ordered, or services to be provided, for the operation of the plant.

Crimes Act Offences

240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception

(1) Every one is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception who, by any deception and without claim of right,—

(a) obtains ownership or possession of, or control over, any property, or any privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly; or

(b) in incurring any debt or liability, obtains credit; or

(c) induces or causes any other person to deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse, destroy, or alter any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage; or

(d) causes loss to any other person.

(2) In this section, deception means—

(a) a false representation, whether oral, documentary, or by conduct, where the person making the representation intends to deceive any other person and—

(i) knows that it is false in a material particular; or

(ii) is reckless as to whether it is false in a material particular; or

(b) an omission to disclose a material particular, with intent to deceive any person, in circumstances where there is a duty to disclose it; or

(c) a fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem used with intent to deceive any person.

About the SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act in response to the collapse of financial markets in New Zealand at that time.

The SFO’s role is the detection, investigation and prosecution of serious or complex financial crime. The SFO’s focus is on investigating and prosecuting criminal cases that will have a real effect on:

• business and investor confidence in our financial markets and economy

• public confidence in our justice system and public service

• New Zealand’s international business reputation.

The SFO operates three investigative teams:

• Evaluation and Intelligence;

• Financial Markets and Corporate Fraud; and

• Fraud and Corruption.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part I of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”

Part II of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”

The SFO’s Annual Report 2013 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2014-2018 sets out the SFO’s three year strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz


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