Sentence sends a reminder of vigilance to investors

Published

Sentence sends a reminder of vigilance to investors

Main body of release

For further information

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

Note to editors

Background to investigation

Glenn William Cooper is a property investor. He is also involved with putting together property deals and acting as a broker.

A complaint was made to the Serious Fraud Office regarding Mr Cooper in 2010, however the Director decided that there was insufficient evidence to lay charges, and the file was closed on 30 June 2011.

In October 2011 the SFO received further complaints regarding Mr Cooper. These complaints alleged an additional method of offending from that previously investigated and a new investigation was commenced on 31 October 2011. 

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