Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Four charged in $40m SFO property loan case

The alleged offending is said to have taken place between the end of 2011 and October 2015. / File Photo.
The alleged offending is said to have taken place between the end of 2011 and October 2015. / File Photo.

A group of Aucklanders are accused of providing false information or withholding details to get more than $40 million of property loans and a banker who allegedly approved some of the lending has also been charged by the Serious Fraud Office.

Four people - three men and a woman - have been charged with obtaining by deception and were granted name suppression when they appeared in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday.

The defendants, in total, allegedly obtained more than $40m of property loans by deception, the Serious Fraud Office said today.

Not all of the defendants are accused of all of the alleged offending and it is not apparent from available court documents how much of the alleged total relates to each of them.

The case is understood to involve 75 properties in Auckland and Hamilton.

According to court documents, one of the accused is a lawyer, another is a banker, one is a manager and one is a director.

The SFO alleges, according to court documents, that false salary payments were made as part of the applications for some of the loans in the case.

Banks were also allegedly provided with false income and employment information.

One of the defendants is also accused of providing banks with a passport in the name of someone which he knew to be false, the SFO alleges.

The accused banker allegedly processed and approved loan applications for the purchase of properties that he knew "were not true purchases, or was reckless as to whether they were", the SFO has alleged in court documents.

The alleged offending is said to have taken place between the end of 2011 and October 2015.

Lawyers for two of accused told the Herald their clients would plead not guilty to the charges they face.

"The charges are somewhat historical and there is no allegation that any party has suffered loss," said Chris Wilkinson-Smith, the lawyer for one of the four.

Lawyers for the other two defendants would not comment.

- NZ Herald

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