The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has completed its investigation in relation to allegations of misuse of funds held by Te Pataka Ohanga Limited (TPO). The SFO’s investigation did not disclose any criminal offending and the SFO will not be taking any furthe
SFO completes Te Pataka Ohanga investigation
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has completed its investigation in relation to allegations of misuse of funds held by Te Pataka Ohanga Limited (TPO). The SFO's investigation did not disclose any criminal offending and the SFO will not be taking any further action.
The investigation specifically considered a number of loans made by TPO to staff and their whānau and the use of TPO credit cards. After considering the scope of any restrictions imposed upon TPO with regard to the use of funds, the SFO does not consider any further action is warranted with regard to the loans. While some expenditure on a TPO credit card related to personal items, the SFO is satisfied on the information available that the card was used in error and that repayments were made. This was the case in relation to expenditure at Trelise Cooper and in relation to the purchase of a wedding dress.
Other issues raised appeared to be attributable to failures in corporate governance. Some of the expenditure on the credit card fell into this category. The SFO understands that TPO has taken steps to address these corporate governance issues.
Should any further information come to light, the SFO will reconsider its conclusions in relation to this matter.
For further information
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550
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About the SFO
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act in response to the collapse of financial markets in New Zealand at that time.
The SFO's role is the detection, investigation and prosecution of serious or complex financial crime. The SFO's focus is on investigating and prosecuting criminal cases that will have a real effect on:
- business and investor confidence in our financial markets and economy
- public confidence in our justice system and public service
- New Zealand's international business reputation.
The SFO operates three investigative teams:
- Evaluation and Intelligence;
- Financial Markets and Corporate Fraud; and
- Fraud and Corruption.
The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.
Part I 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 II 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 Annual Report 2013 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2013-2016 sets out the SFO's three year strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz(external link)