Mortgage fraud sentence for SFO charges

Published

Mortgage fraud sentence for SFO charges

Shane Charles Wenzel (51) has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today.

Mr Wenzel was found guilty of eight charges in October of using documents dishonestly with intent to obtain a pecuniary advantage, and using a document with intent to defraud (for offences occurring pre October 2003) brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The charges related to dishonest loan applications arising from the sale and purchase of properties in South Auckland during the significant upturn in the property market between May 2003 and October 2004.

Acting SFO Chief Executive, Mr Simon McArley said, "Crimes of this type have a big impact on vulnerable investors. The loss of their investment funds will have irrevocably changed their lives. We remain deeply concerned for all his victims. We will continue to lead the investigation and prosecution of this type of high impact financial crime."

ENDS

For further information

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

Note to editors

Background to investigation

Shane Charles Wenzel was a self-employed business coach from Auckland (born in Australia). Mr Wenzel is also a discharged bankrupt and at the time of the offending was prohibited from the management or control of any business without the consent of the Assignee.

Mr Wenzel encouraged individuals to apply for mortgage finance based on inflated (false) purchases prices.

On occasions, false letters of employment and false statements of income for the borrower/s were used.

Crimes Act offences

Section 228 Dishonestly taking or using document
Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to obtain any property, service, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration,-
(a) dishonestly and without claim of right, takes or obtains any document; or
(b) dishonestly and without claim of right, uses or attempts to use any document.

Section 229A Taking or dealing with certain documents with intent to defraud
Pre-October 2003 amendments

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to defraud,-
(a) Takes or obtains any document that is capable of being used to obtain any privilege, benefit, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration; or
(b) Uses or attempts to use any such document for the purpose of obtaining, for himself or for any other person, any privilege, benefit, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration.

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:

  • Evaluation & 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 2012 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