An Auckland man involved in a $33 million mortgage fraud has been released on parole after spending just over a year in jail.

Simon Lawrence Turnbull, in his mid-40s, last year admitted his role in a mortgage fraud where false loan applications were submitted to a fund management company to purchase 16 properties around the Auckland region between September 2006 and August 2007.

Turnbull, who had been living out of New Zealand for years and was arrested upon his return to the country, was sentenced to three years and two months in jail. His co-offender, former property developer and ex-New Zealand representative bridge player Malcolm Mayer, had earlier been jailed for six years for his part in the fraud.

Turnbull, who has qualifications in architecture and sub-sea engineering, has now been released on parole after spending a little over a year in prison.


The parole board, in assessing Turnbull's case, said there was no rehabilitative programmes available to him in prison.

It also commented that his situation is "somewhat complicated" by his current wife living overseas with the couple's young daughter.

While Turnbull's lawyer submitted that "there would be positive reintegration prospects" if Turnbull was released and able to go overseas rather than stay in New Zealand, the parole board expressed some concern about the idea.

"The Department [of Corrections] would not have oversight of parole conditions beyond New Zealand's shores. We have discussed the possibility of there being an application at some stage for a variation or discharge of conditions ... that, however, must be a matter for the future by way of separate application," the board said.

"For today, we are satisfied that risk in this particular case is not undue. We therefore will be directing release," it said.

Turnbull was released late last month.