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Insolvency practitioners key to fighting corporate fraud

17 August 2011

Insolvency practitioners key to fighting corporate fraud

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today recognised the importance of insolvency practitioners in the fight against corporate fraud.

Speaking at the 11th Annual Corporate Insolvency Conference in Auckland, SFO Chief Executive, Adam Feeley, said “No profession is better placed than insolvency practitioners to assist the SFO, and other law enforcement agencies, in the fight against corporate crime.”

Mr Feeley said that factors such as their strong links to business; geographic spread; and relative strength of numbers, made the profession a key ally to the work of the agencies tasked with fighting financial crime.

“We are heavily dependent on the on-the-ground knowledge and cooperation of insolvency practitioners to detecting crimes within the corporate sector, and to ensuring a successful outcome to an investigation.”

In the past 12 months the SFO had been greatly encouraged by the support of insolvency practitioners for greater law enforcement activity, and their active reporting of possible offending.

“Several accounting and law firms have assisted us in major investigations. Without their help, these cases would have, at best, taken longer to complete, and in some cases may not have been completed.”

Mr Feeley cited cases such as Aorangi Securities, Hanover Finance, South Canterbury Finance, and Herbert Insurance Group where insolvency practitioners had made significant contributions to the SFO’s investigations.

“I think there has been significant shift in the level of collaboration between agencies such as the SFO and Financial Markets Authority and those responsible for administering the affairs of financially distressed companies.

“While it would be naïve to think corporate fraud won’t continue, the public should feel heartened by the commitment of the private and public sector to working together to make New Zealand a safer place to invest.”


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