Property developer admits offering $160k bribe

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A property developer has today admitted offering a $160,000 bribe in return for information about a new ACC branch office.

Gregory Alexander Hutt, 54, pleaded guilty in the High Court at Wellington this morning to one Crimes Act bribery charge brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Hutt's plea arises from his role in a corruption and bribery case involving the ACC and the successful prosecution and sentencing of co-offender Malcolm David Mason in March last year.

Hutt, a property developer, paid Mason, the former national property manager at ACC, a "corrupt payment" of $160,000 to ensure he gained the opportunity to profit from the construction and leasing of a new ACC branch office in Whangarei.

The SFO welcomed the guilty plea today.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said: "While corruption in New Zealand is not a way of life it is, on occasions, a fact of life.

"Cases such as this serve as a reminder that complacency about corruption in New Zealand would only put our international reputation at risk.

"As with any form of financial crime, law enforcement agencies need the assistance of whistle-blowers to help detect what is a particularly insidious crime."

Hutt was remanded on bail for sentencing on June 15.

- APNZ

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