A couple charged with defrauding Mighty River Power of $2 million bought a $1.4 million Auckland property the month before the energy company started an investigation.
The Serious Fraud Office yesterday laid four charges against Paul Kenneth Rose and two against his wife, Jane Clare Rose, for obtaining money from the power company by deception.
Paul Rose worked at the Mighty River Power Penrose gas-fired power station as an electrical engineer until December 2012. Part of his role was to identify what equipment had to be ordered or services provided for the plant, the SFO said yesterday.
Rose, or companies under his control, allegedly issued invoices for about $2 million to Mighty River Power for "goods those companies sometimes didn't provide or services that were instead performed by Mr Rose himself or others", the SFO said.
The SFO claims Jane Rose was also involved for some time in the alleged offending, which it says took place between June 2005 and December 2012.
An SFO spokeswoman said the Roses, both 42, were husband and wife at the time of the alleged offences.
Property records list Paul Kenneth Rose and Jane Clare Rose as the owners of a Half Moon Bay home that overlooks the local marina.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home is on the market and has a capital value of $1.4 million, according to the QV property website. Title documents show ownership was transferred to the Roses at the end of November 2012.
That was the month before MRP started its investigation and dismissed Paul Rose.
The company referred the matter to the police in early 2013, and the SFO started a formal probe in April of that year.
The Roses are the listed owners of two other East Auckland properties with a combined capital value of almost $1.2 million.
MRP chief financial officer William Meek said any decisions on recovery options would depend on the outcome of the SFO's court action.
The Roses are next due to appear in the Auckland District Court on September 30.