Home Detention for commercial corruption

Published

Home Detention for commercial corruption

Former Commercial Property Manager, Christopher David Green (66) has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court today to five months' home detention.

Mr Green's offending occurred between 2003 and 2010 when he was responsible for ensuring the portfolio of premises that his employer occupied around New Zealand, were appropriately insured.

Mr Green's employer was a client of Herbert Insurance Group (HIG) which acted as insurance broker for Mr Green's employer.

Mr Green corruptly received secret commissions from HIG totalling approximately $220,000 for referring insurance business to HIG. His employer was consequently over charged by that sum. He retained approximately $142,000 of that amount and it is alleged that he returned the balance over charged to Mr Herbert (the principal of HIG) personally.

Mr Green's offending was identified in the course of a wider investigation of Herbert Insurance Group. Mr Herbert faces additional charges arising out of that investigation and these are before the Court.

Mr Green pled guilty in February to eight charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) under Section 4 of the Secret Commissions Act.

Acting SFO Chief Executive, Simon McArley, says, "Offending of this nature adds to the cost of doing business in New Zealand and is a drain on our economy. SFO is focused on reducing the impact of economic crime on our economy and so will continue to prioritise dealing with bribery and corruption of this type."

ENDS

For further information

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

Note to editors

Background to investigation

Christopher David Green was the former Commercial Property Manager at Bunnings Warehouse Limited (Bunnings); the Australian based home improvement supply company. Mr Green's role included procuring insurance for the portfolio of premises that Bunnings occupied around New Zealand.

HIG provided an insurance brokering service to insured clients.

Secret Commissions Act offences

Section 4: Acceptance of such gifts by agent an offence
(1) Every agent is guilty of an offence who corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, or solicits from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gift or other consideration as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do, any act in relation to the principal's affairs or business (whether such act is within the scope of the agent's authority or the course of his employment as agent or not), or for showing or having shown favour or disfavour to any person in relation to the principal's affairs or business.

(2) Every agent who diverts, obstructs, or interferes with the proper course of the affairs or business of his principal, or fails to use due diligence in the prosecution of such affairs or business, with intent to obtain for himself or for any other person any gift or other consideration from any person interested in such affairs or business, shall be deemed to have corruptly solicited a consideration within the meaning of this section.

About 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.

SFO's role is the detection, investigation and prosecution of serious or complex financial crime. 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.

SFO operates three investigative teams:

  • Evaluation and Intelligence;
  • Financial Markets and Corporate Fraud; and
  • Fraud and Corruption.

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..."

SFO's Annual Report 2012 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