Two Auckland men and a woman have denied an alleged $8 million investment and shares fraud and will go to trial next year.

The trio all appeared today in the High Court at Auckland where Justice Simon Moore set a four-week trial starting next July.

Charges were first laid in the Auckland District Court against Jian Long, 35, and 37-year-old woman Wen Ting Zhang last November before Peng Pian, 36, was later charged this May.

The trio, who were arrested as part of an investigation by Auckland Police's financial crime unit, deny the allegations and now face a total of 71 charges.

Advertisement

They will appear in court again during August.

The Herald understands the alleged offending, which according to court documents occurred between November 2015 and August 2017, amounts to just short of $8m.

The alleged scam - the Herald earlier revealed - is said to have included fake invoices, emails and a land title from accounting, property development, bio-research and law firms used to allegedly enable the deception.

The alleged ruse also saw Long and Zhang allegedly use forged documents from several firms.

The charges against Long and Zhang include allegations they used forged invoices totalling millions of dollars from land development company Wow Development Limited, law firm Amicus Law, and geotechnical and environmental consultancy company Soil & Rock.

They are also accused of using five fake invoices worth $1.8m purporting to be from Harrison Grierson - one of the New Zealand's leading engineering and design consultancies.

Forged invoices from central Auckland law firm Duthie Whyte where allegedly used, while a legal executive at a North Shore law firm was allegedly induced to act on fake share holding documents.

Allegations of fake emails from Long and Zhang were also used to request the release of funds held by Amicus Law, with one charge relating to a single loan of $10m loan in the name of Wow Development.

Advertisement

Zhang is accused alone of using a forged document which she is said to have signed using a power of attorney from another person, authorising a law firm to pay more than $1.2m.

One charge also relates to the alleged forged sale and purchase of shares for $2.8m.

New Zealand Companies Office records show Long was a former director and shareholder of Wow Development.