Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Banker in $40m SFO case allowed to leave NZ

The man is permitted to leave New Zealand provided he first provide the details of his travel bookings to the SFO with copies of the travel tickets. Photo / Greg Bowker
The man is permitted to leave New Zealand provided he first provide the details of his travel bookings to the SFO with copies of the travel tickets. Photo / Greg Bowker

A banker who allegedly approved some of the mortgages in a $40 million Serious Fraud Office case is allowed to travel overseas - provided he puts up $500,000 as security.

The SFO charged four people - three men and a woman - with obtaining by deception earlier this month. They all have name suppression.

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 that the lawyer, manager and director provided false information or withheld details to get more than $40m of property loans.

Not all of the defendants are accused of all of the alleged offending and the case is understood to involve 75 properties in Auckland and Hamilton.

According to court documents, 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.

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.

This week, the banker had his bail terms varied by a High Court judge, allowing him travel overseas temporarily.

However, in order to get his passport back he was required to lodge a $500,000 cash surety with the court.

The man is permitted to leave New Zealand provided he first provide the details of his travel bookings to the SFO with copies of the travel tickets.

He must return to New Zealand by November 15 and hand his passport back the following day.

Any breach of these conditions , subject to any court order, will result in the forfeiture of the $500,000, which the defendant will get back after he returns to the country.

Upon his return to the country, his bail conditions not to leave New Zealand will resume.

- NZ Herald

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