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Defendant returns to New Zealand to plead guilty to fraud


Media Release
27 October 2016


Defendant returns to New Zealand to plead guilty to fraud


Simon Lawrence Wood Turnbull appeared in the Auckland District Court today to plead guilty to Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Mr Turnbull pleaded guilty to 16 charges of ‘Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception’.

The charges related to a period between September 2006 and August 2007 when Mr Turnbull was involved in a mortgage fraud where false loan applications were submitted to a fund management company to purchase 16 properties in and around the Auckland region. The charges were initially laid in November 2014, however, Mr Turnbull failed to appear at his first court date and after spending some time living overseas, Mr Turnbull surrendered voluntarily when he returned to New Zealand in June this year.

SFO Director, Julie Read said, “Mortgage fraud is taken seriously by the SFO. In a housing market which has enough challenges for the honest buyer, further costs to borrowing because of other people’s dishonesty is not acceptable. The SFO welcomes the guilty plea today.”

In February 2014, Malcolm Mayer was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for his role in the fraud.

Mr Turnbull will reappear for sentencing on 18 November.

ENDS

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