A restraining order has been placed on eight properties belonging to an Auckland couple allegedly running a cheating service for tertiary students, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority says.

The orders were placed against the properties connected to Steven Quan Li and his wife Fan Yang in the High Court at Auckland after Justice Sarah Katz ruled there were reasonable grounds to believe criminal activity that benefited the couple had occurred there.

NZQA and police were investigating allegations of cheating services, the authority's chief executive Karen Poutasi said.

The bank accounts of the couples' three companies involved - Assignment4U Consultant Ltd, Atan Ltd, and Ateama Ltd - indicated each had received numerous deposits from third parties with accompanying references to "assignment", "essay fee" or something similar.


Payments from the bank accounts indicated a number of people had received funds on multiple occasions, which were consistent with payments to ghost writers, Ms Poutasi said.

"NZQA, the New Zealand Police and the Auckland Crown Solicitor's Office will continue to work together as investigations continue," she said.