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A former Contract Manager at Broadspectrum charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court today to fraud and corruption charges relating to the awarding of road maintenance contracts. He is the fifth and final person involved in the case to plead guilty.

Jason Koroheke pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining by deception and 14 charges of acceptance of gifts by agent between January 2015 and November 2018. He was due to stand trial in the Auckland District Court beginning today. Mr Koroheke’s sentencing has been scheduled for 29 November in the Auckland District Court. 

Mr Koroheke was the primary offender in several schemes where he accepted gifts in exchange for awarding work and submitted false invoices to obtain significant benefits for himself.

SFO Director Karen Chang says, “The final guilty plea marks an important milestone in this case with a trial now no longer being required. It also highlights the quality of our highly specialised investigation and prosecution team who delivered this outcome.”

“This case serves as a reminder that the SFO is committed to maintaining New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity, and low levels of fraud and corruption, particularly where there are links to public sector funding. Pursuing serious and complex cases of this nature is important in deterring future offending and safeguarding that reputation.”

The SFO charged three subcontractors in relation to the schemes, including Frederick Pou, Richard Motilal, and one person who still has name suppression, alongside former Broadspectrum maintenance manager Aurelian Mihai Hossu (also known as Michael Hossu).

The subcontractors submitted invoices to Broadspectrum, both real and fake, which Mr Koroheke authorised. Once Broadspectrum paid the subcontractors, they used this money to provide gifts to Mr Koroheke in the form of cash, goods or services worth over $1 million.

Mr Hossu pleaded guilty in April 2022 in the Auckland District Court to four charges of acceptance of gifts by an agent. He was sentenced to 11 months’ home detention in June 2022 and made a reparation payment of $90k.

Mr Motilal of Engineering & Aviation Supplies pleaded guilty in February 2023 in the Auckland District Court to three charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent. He was sentenced in August last year to nine months’ home detention and to pay $25k in reparation.

Mr Pou of Coastal Roading Contractors pleaded guilty in May 2024 in the Auckland District Court to corruptly giving gifts to an agent totalling $626k to secure contracts. Mr Pou’s sentencing has been scheduled for Monday, 30 September 2024, in the Auckland District Court. 

The other person charged pleaded guilty in February 2024 in the Auckland District Court to one charge of obtaining by deception of approximately $631k and two charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent amounting to approximately $615k. They were sentenced in June 2024 to 12 months’ home detention and made a reparation payment of $300k.

Case history timeline.(external link)

About the SFO 
The SFO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex fraud, including bribery and corruption in New Zealand. With a focus on maintaining integrity and trust in the financial system, the SFO has developed strategic areas of focus to ensure it has the greatest impact with the cases it takes in. These are reviewed and updated every 12-18 months. SFO Strategic Areas of Focus(external link)