SFO confirms investigation into Australian Securities (NZ) Limited

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SFO confirms investigation into advisory firm, Australian Securities (NZ) Limited

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed today that it is undertaking an investigation into financial advisory firm Australian Securities (NZ) Limited (Australian Securities), following allegations that investors may have been fraudulently misled.

Australian Securities is based in Auckland and has a number of New Zealand based clients. It specialises in trading derivatives and options on the futures market of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The SFO undertook a preliminary investigation into the company in May. This has resulted in the matter being upgraded to allow the Office to exercise more extensive investigative powers.

SFO Chief Executive Adam Feeley says there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed.

“While the matter is at a relatively early stage and no adverse conclusions have been reached, we believe it is in the public interest for current or future investors to be aware of SFO’s inquiries,” he says.

Interviews with associated parties will commence immediately in order to determine whether the company may pose an ongoing risk to investors. Due to the complex nature of the investigation, independent experts will also be engaged in order to assist the SFO.

ENDS

For further information

Sharon van Gulik
Media Liaison
Serious Fraud Office
Phone: 021 675 998

Note to editors

Role of 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 operates three investigative teams:

  • Fraud Detection & Intelligence; 
  • Financial Markets & Corporate Fraud; and 
  • Fraud & Corruption.

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 2011-2014 sets out the SFO’s three year strategic goals and performance standards. It is available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz