SFO confirms investigation following Law Society complaint

Published

SFO confirms investigation following Law Society complaint

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed today that it is undertaking an investigation into Mr John David Milne.
 
A complaint has been received from the New Zealand Law Society Otago Standards Committee regarding Mr Milne's activities around client funds.

The Director has determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed by Mr Milne and an investigation has been opened under Part II of the SFO Act.

As knowledge of the matter is already in the public domain, the SFO has confirmed its investigation in order to encourage any person who may have had financial dealings with Mr Milne to come forward.

Any member of the public with information that may be relevant to the investigation can contact the Office on 0800 109 800.

Mr Milne is a former lawyer with Craig Paddon Law in Christchurch. Prior to that, he ran a sole practice in Dunedin for a number of years. Mr Milne has now handed in his practising certificate to the Law Society.

ENDS

For further information

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

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 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 2011 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2012-2015 sets out the SFO's three year strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at: www.sfo.govt.nz