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Concealing involvement in companies leads to charges

Concealing involvement in companies leads to fraud and corruption charges

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today laid charges in the Manukau District Court against two former employees of Thermakraft Industries (NZ) Ltd (Thermakraft).

Peter Sanele (55), a former factory manager at Thermakraft, faces two charges of dishonestly taking or using a document in relation to Macpallets Ltd (Macpallets). Macpallets was a company which supplied pallets and other packaging materials to Thermakraft. It is alleged that Macpallets received more than $200,000 from false invoices which Mr Sanele arranged to be issued by Macpallets to Thermakraft.

Mr Sanele and Mark Treadwell (61), a former director and shareholder at Thermakraft, are jointly charged with obtaining by deception in relation to JMP Transport Ltd (JMP). Mr Sanele and Mr Treadwell are also charged under section 5 of the Secret Commissions Act for failing to disclose a pecuniary interest in a contract in relation to JMP. The SFO alleges that Mr Sanele and Mr Treadwell set up JMP to provide transport services to Thermakraft, using their positions at Thermakraft to ensure JMP was preferred over other cartage suppliers. They failed to tell Thermakraft about their involvement in JMP. JMP received payments of more than $480,000 from Thermakraft for cartage services and Mr Sanele and Mr Treadwell each received $90,000 from JMP purportedly for consulting services, which they also concealed from Thermakraft.

SFO Director, Julie Read said, “The SFO alleges that the concealment of the defendants’ interest in the suppliers constitutes a fraud on Thermakraft. Conduct of this kind can have a corrosive impact on the integrity of a company and the SFO is committed to ensuring that this sort of behaviour does not take hold in the New Zealand business environment.”

The defendants have been remanded on bail without plea and will reappear in the Manukau District Court on 21 October.


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