LWR director receives six year sentence

Published

LWR director receives six year sentence

Two defendants were sentenced in the Christchurch District Court today on charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to Canterbury clothing manufacturer, Lane Walker Rudkin Industries (LWR).

Kenneth James Anderson (66) was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. In October he pleaded guilty to three representative charges brought under the Crimes Act of dishonestly using a document (s228) and one further representative charge, also under Section 228 of the Crimes Act.

Mr Anderson's charges related to the provision of false financial statements which were used to obtain and retain lending facilities, and the use of false documentation to obtain funds under a letter of credit facility, from Westpac New Zealand Limited. As a result of the fraud, losses of $70 million were suffered.

The second person, who, during a trial last month, also pleaded guilty to a charge for their part in the use of false documentation to obtain funds under a letter of credit facility, was fined $2,000.

SFO Director, Julie Read, recognised the high level of public interest in this case.

"We feel for the staff who contributed to the once successful LWR brand and who were then victims of its collapse due to the activities of the defendants. The SFO hope this result will help deter similar crimes and maintain the integrity and credibility of New Zealand businesses," she said.

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

The SFO operates three investigative teams:

  • Evaluation and Intelligence;
  • Financial Markets and Corporate Fraud; and
  • Fraud and 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 2013 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