A High Court judge has granted a freezing order on funds from a near $1 million mortgage, allegedly fraudulently obtained by four-times bankrupted property developer Peter Chevin.
In an unusual case, Justice Matthew Palmer ruled there was an arguable case supported by sufficient evidence to satisfy the granting of the freezing order.
Avon Parnell Ltd and Ryan Matthew Leggat brought the case against Peter Louis Chevin, Clark Vincent Valmont, Graeme Hayward Skeates and Northern Investors Trustee Ltd.
The High Court judgment noted that the plaintiffs claimed they were victims of fraud, alleging that Chevin presented documents to the Companies Office to suggest a company controlled by Valmont was now the shareholder of Avon Parnell Ltd (APL) which owns two Parnell properties on trust for Waihapu Ltd.
Chevin assisted with the incorporation of APL in 2015 and the plaintiffs believe he retained the log-in and password for the Companies Office website.
The Companies Register shows a document submitted on May 21, removing Leggat and adding Russell PKR Trustee Ltd as being the sole shareholder of APL.
Russell PRK Trustee is directed by Valmont and also names Chevin as a previous director.
Another document names Valmont as APL company director and removes Leggat.
Chevin and/or Valmont allegedly then secured a $990,000 mortgage from Basecorp Finance on the APL properties.
Court documents show on June 15, Leggatt discovered information suggesting the money had been paid by lawyer Graeme Skeates to a Kiwibank account in the name of APL, then to another account with the notation "PAY Northern Investors Trust".
Valmont is the sole shareholder and director of Northern Investors Trustee Ltd (NIT) and Chevin was a director until he was disqualified in 2017.
On June 18, the plaintiffs applied for an urgent injunction freezing the asset without notice, which Justice Palmer granted, saying the claim was "supported by sufficient evidence".
"Weighing the need to protect the applicants with the prejudice to the respondents, I consider it is in the overall interests of justice for freezing orders to be made," he said in the judgment.
The judge made an ancillary order requiring Chevin and Valmont to each swear an affidavit providing information including:
• All funds purportedly borrowed in the name of APL, including copies of all loan documentation
• The whereabouts of the funds purported borrowed in the name of APL and/or secured against APL's properties.
Chevin is best known for building Auckland's skinniest high-rise tower and in 2017 was sentenced to nine months' home detention after pleading guilty to nine charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.
He said he would comment later today.