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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced this week that it had laid charges against Ian Victor Petersen, a 61 year old from Waikanae.

Serious Fraud Office lays charges in alleged $2M fraud

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced this week that it had laid charges against Ian Victor Petersen, a 61 year old from Waikanae.

The SFO allege that Mr Petersen, while acting as an accountant, tax agent and investment advisor, obtained in excess of $2M, including an amount written off by the Inland Revenue Department in respect of a tax liability.

The charges relate to the alleged misuse of client funds which were paid to Mr Petersen by various clients for specific purposes and the use of certain documents for the purpose of reducing a tax liability.

Mr Petersen appeared in the Porirua District Court having been charged with thirteen counts of theft by a person required to account; twenty counts of theft by person in special relationship; one count of using a document with intent to defraud and one count of dishonestly using a document.

Mr Petersen was remanded on bail, without plea, to reappear on 20 August 2010.

For further information

Adam Feeley
Chief Executive
Serious Fraud Office
Phone 021 333 539

The role of the Serious Fraud Office

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

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers. Part 1 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 2 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 Statement of Intent 2010-2012 sets out the SFO’s three year strategy and goals for contributing towards the Government’s Justice and Economic Development goals. It is available online at http://www.sfo.govt.nz/f56,555/SFO_Statement_of_Intent_2010.pdf(external link)(external link)