Guilty plea in LWR fraud

Published

Guilty plea in LWR fraud

Kenneth James Anderson (66) has entered guilty pleas in the Christchurch District Court today to charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The charges arose out of the collapse of Canterbury clothing manufacturer, Lane Walker Rudkin Industries (LWR) in 2009.

Mr Anderson was the director of LWR. He pled guilty to three representative charges brought under the Crimes Act of dishonestly using a document. The charges relate to provision of false financial statements which were used to obtain and retain lending facilities from Westpac New Zealand Limited (Westpac).

He also pled guilty to a further representative charge relating to the use of false documentation to obtain funds under a letter of credit facility provided by Westpac.

Mr Anderson and another individual were charged in July 2011.

SFO Acting Director, Simon McArley, said that Mr Anderson's actions had a profound effect on the region at the time.

"LWR employed many staff and enjoyed an international reputation. The scale and impact of Mr Anderson's fraud was extensive. SFO are pleased to bring some closure to his involvement in this investigation," he said.

The remaining defendant continues to face charges and a trial commenced in the Christchurch District Court today.

ENDS

For further information

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

Note to editors

Background to investigation

Lane Walker Rudkin Industries Limited and associated entities were placed into receivership on 28 April 2009.

After considering a complaint received from the receivers, BDO Spicers, the Director determined that an investigation into the affairs of LWR Group may disclose serious or complex fraud.

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

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