The biggest fraud

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, December 8th, 2011 - 99 comments
Categories: capitalism, crime - Tags: ,

In its final days, South Canterbury Finance quietly loaned $300m to related-parties. Breach of the deposit guarantee scheme’s rules. Nats did nothing. When SCF collapsed the related parties got off scot-free – if they owned SCF bonds, the Nats even paid them $350m voluntarily. Now, the Serious Fraud Office has laid the biggest fraud charges in history over SCF. What’s the bet it’s over those related-party loans and bonds? And where’s our fucken money?

And what’s with this rash of bad news for the government about stuff that happened months or years ago coming out days after the election? A suspicious person might think that government agencies had been holding back bad news.

99 comments on “The biggest fraud”

  1. Jackal 1

    It certainly looks pretty bad. More cuts to DOC, mining conservation land, idiotic changes to the education system, the list just goes on and on.

    • pollywog 1.1

      …especially as theres no mandate for it given they didn’t campaign on those issues.

      but on point i can just imagine Key and English pleading ignorance on just how close to the edge SCF were to toppling before they re signed them for the retail deposit guarantee scheme but saw an opprtunity to game the system for a select few of their mates and rellies so let it slide.

      Comes down to cherry picking treasury advice again.

      Treasury predicted SCF’s failure early on

      In a report dated March 8, Treasury estimated “it is probable that SCF will default under the existing Crown Guarantee in or around June 2010.”

      It was then estimating such a default would cost the government nearly $700 million, including interest.

      http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976498105/treasury-predicted-scf-s-failure-early-on.html

      i mean, just check the date and tell me they weren’t taking the piss…

      SCF Approved For Extended Retail Deposit Guarantee

      1 April 2010

      Crown approves South Canterbury Finance for Extended Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme

      South Canterbury Finance Limited has today been approved to participate in the Crown’s Extended Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

      The scheme will provide all eligible investors with the benefit of the Crown guarantee until 31 December 2011.

  2. vto 2

    If another election were held this weekend I suspect this extremist government would be well turfed out.

    The great fraud here is yet to emerge and that is the fraud committed by English and Key when they said they were told on their first day in office in 2008 that they knew SCF was going to fail and yet did nothing to protect the taxpayer and everything to protect their vote.

    • marsman 2.1

      Bill English re-signed SCF into the guarantee scheme on his first day in office. When he paid the investors he paid them interest as well. There has to be a full inquiry and if English and Key are culpable lock them up.

    • Peter 2.2

      If an election were held this week nothing would have changed. The Key party can do what it likes until someone comes along and explains their lies and half truths in a way that gets people to change their vote. The only hope I suspect is Winston!

      • burt 2.2.1

        Yes – because Winston can speak with so much authority about lies.

        • mik e 2.2.1.1

          Burt 100.000 in electoral funding when bigger parties hide much bigger amounts and here we are talking $1.7 billion wine box enquiry ended up with banks having to pay hundreds of millions back in tax avoidance.Politicians lie some tell much bigger lies or in the
          Double Dipping Dipstick Case He avoiding Lying by saying Nothing.Politics 101

    • Im not one to say “I told you so ” however when this scandal was first revealed I said that the late Hubbard was the biggest conman ever in Aotearoa. Got a bit off an earbashing over that. Two things puzzle me.
      When the late Hubbard stated, when the story broke , “IF Mr Key had been in the country this would never have happened .Once in the Herald then lost.Is there anyone out there who can investigate this.
      Secondly where did all that money go too? Both Hubbards were involved in the Church does that alert anyone other than me.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The fact that so much shit was known about privately and loaded into the pipes, and the Key government manipulated media and press releases so that it is all coming out after the election is simply dirty and undemocratic. How is this not unlike the recent vote stuffing Russian elections???

    And of course the corporate compliant MSM suck all the shit up that Key delivers on a silver platter.

    Having said that, around Christmas is exactly the time Governments love to release the dirt to bury it.

  4. Scott 4

    Wanna bet no one goes to jail or gets penalized in anyway for this?
    “One guy with a briefcase can steal more money than 100 guys with guns”

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      “If you want to rob a bank, get a gun. If you want to rob the world, get a bank.”

      • felix 4.1.1

        Or as Bob said, “Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king”

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Well in the UK Cameron will definitely give you a knighthood for ‘services rendered’.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        “Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.”

  5. dv 5

    How long will it be before the case hits the courts?

    Be interesting if it is in 2013

    Am I right that this the first against SFC, the other cases were against the Hubbards. and Aorangi

  6. King Kong 6

    There are people in the Treasury who should do time for this as well.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      The documents will have been ‘cleansed’ from the files by now.

      • Carol 6.1.1

        According to Cunliffe there is evidence (maybe circumstantial?) that some of the fault lies with Treasury:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6106690/Government-stumbled-over-SCF-Labour

        “It may have been bordering on insolvency as early as 2009 and given that risk, the Government should have applied greater rigor to its investigation and decisions.”

        The charges also showed Treasury, which was criticised this year by the Auditor-General for failing to protect taxpayers from liabilities inherent in the scheme, had not been as thorough as the SFO, Cunliffe said.

        “It looks like Treasury had just not investigated anything like the same level of detail as the SFO.”

        But this may be due more to negligence than outright fraud.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          “But this may be due more to negligence than outright fraud.”

          Unless the treasury staff had their own money invested in SCF.

          Turns out my uncle had a rather large deposit there because he knew he’d be bailed out. I wouldn’t put it past treasury staff to do the same.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          Negligence costing hundreds of millions = Asses fired, starting at the top. Who was the Minister in charge of Treasury at that time?

          Oh yeah, English.

          • King Kong 6.1.1.2.1

            Can’t disagree with you CV.

            English should be [deleted]. Though if we are being fair then Cullen deserves [deleted].

            [Right – from now on calls for anyone to be shot, or other forms of violence, get a one week ban if I see them. Second offence a one year ban. r0b]

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Not needed mate.

            • Huginn 6.1.1.2.1.2

              Good call, r0b.

              You can’t identify those who are going to do violence when everyone is talking violence.

              • Jackal

                It’s actually illegal under New Zealand law to express your violent wishes on people in a public forum. Don’t let the right wing blogger’s fool you with their continuos vitriolic attacks… under current law hate speech whether spoken or written is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against an individual or group.

                • lprent

                  And one of the mods usually deal with it (usually after other commentators draw it to our attention). What r0b was saying is how he is now planning on dealing with this particular problem while moderating. Since r0b rarely bans, this is a bit of a departure for his moderating style. I’m going to be interested to see if he follows the RedLogix style of a short educational bans, or the IrishBill thermonuclear option for this offense.

                  Just to make it clear, we have no particular standards for bans and consistency in sentencing is not a attribute that we wish to encourage. Whoever hands them out uses their own rules and all moderators support whatever they decide. It makes walking over an edge a bit of a sporting feature – you never know if it will be a nice warning or if you will be able to comment here next year. We think that it enhances the trolls sense of enjoyment 😈

                  • pollywog

                    I personally think it sucks balls theres no consistency re banning.

                    It’s what also fucks me off about judiciary/police discretion on things like name supression, sentencing and parole, charges and arrests.

                    It all comes down to profiling and personal bias creating double standards.

                    While kiwiblog’s demerit system does have some merit, it’s still DPF’s call and his personal bias is well known.

                    Racist redneck cracka ass muthafuckas is all good, everything else gets a double take.

                    For guys i have this personal theory that it all depends on whether you’re carrying a full sac or not and how you last managed to unload it.

                    To use Farrar as an example. I don’t think he’s getting any decent action unless he handles it himself or pays for it. In which case it makes for a whole lotta blogwank and screensplart.

                    Could probably apply that to CacK as well. Though i’d imagine what she lacks in quality she makes up for in quantity.

                    as for Whaleoil. Well the names says it all really…

            • John D 6.1.1.2.1.3

              Just as well Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t comment here then

              (in reply to the “being shot” comments above)

          • insider 6.1.1.2.2

            “Negligence costing hundreds of millions = Asses fired”

            You’ve never worked in the civil service have you? 🙂

    • tc 6.2

      I think you’ll find treasury advised the gov’t on day 1 to turf SCF out of the scheme along with many other warnings over the time leading up to their collapse.

      More of the old ‘ we know what’s best’ a la joyce/aya tolley/bennett etc etc all ignoring the advice of those annoying public sevants who despite what most folk think actually do run stuff and know a bit about such things.

      This could be the wrecking crew’s watergate

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.1

        Key and English were probably hoping enough ‘green shoots’ would emerge to rescue them ( and SCF)

        When it didnt they just carried on, making sure English delegated someone else to sign the agreement between the Crown and SCF

    • mik e 6.3

      Obese Gorilla .Treasury warned National government that SCF were in breach of their Guarantee .
      But English ignored treasury advice and went ahead and resigned SCF no wonder he doesn’t want to do interviews.

  7. anne 7

    English’s part in this must not be forgotten,it was english that was warned by the treasurer that he
    wasn’t acting within the terms and conditions of the retail deposit scheme,he took it upon himself to change the rules,called a meeting of scf investors and told them they now had the benefit of a crown guarantee,a rush of deposits and english and the nat govt sat on its hands,costing just on
    $2b to the tax payer.
    Just recently english and key took over 6 companies from scf under the nose of the recievers,they were surprised by this action,so with those 6 companies now under govt
    control they could also be tagged for asset sales,more than likely to the Goldman Sachs empire.
    Hopefully the govt’s actions in all that transpired is under the microscope as well.

    • vto 7.1

      anne, what 6 companies are those? What assets etc do they own or control? It wouldn’t be tied up with farming and irrigation on the Canterbury Plains per chance would it?

      dirty sly dogs – my first reaction was not just “follow the money” as grumpy says below re Torchlight, but “watch the assets and where they end up”.

      This dreadful rip-off saga has many legs yet to sprout on it yet ….

      • anne 7.1.1

        There were no details of the companies,but it was briefly in the paper,in the story was that
        the recievers were suprised at the action,the it went off the radar,as most adverse publicity that involves the key administration gets shut down by the govt pretty quick,just like the leading stories on scf right now.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          Don’t recall any dates or names or the newspaper or anything?

          • dv 7.1.1.1.1

            Try this stuff in april 2011
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4887267/Papers-reveal-SCF-conflict-concerns

            “In view of the Minister’s role in relation to [name with-held] please confirm what action the Minister will be taking and to whom Treasury should address any advice on the proposal,” wrote Park.

            A spokesman for English said the issue involved his ministerial responsibility for the Super Fund, which was the bidder for Dairy Holdings.

            “It was a conflict between ministerial portfolios and it was handled appropriately,” he said.

      • anne 7.1.2

        If you search, govt takes over 6 companies from scf nz, interest.co.nz and gareth vaughn have a
        story there,they still dont name the companies,but english is creating another company from all of them.

      • grumpy 7.1.3

        You may remember when a Hubbard company developed part of the Rakaia river bed into a dairy farm without bothering to apply for a Resource Consent to irrigate. When ECAN turned them down they went to court and got it – nothing nice about that man!!!

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    One of the many gripes the Occupy Wall St movement have is that there is no accountability and that overt crimes committed by bankers went (and still go) unpunished. (Okay, one small fry went to jail).

    ‘Inside Job’, ‘Capitalsim is the Crisis’, ‘Meltdown’ etc. say it all.

    It is clear that the same culture of greed, profligacy and criminality exists in NZ, and that those who perpetrate the crimes go unpunished because they are so-called community leaders.

    The problem for the average kiwi is to find an institution that is not riddled with corruption to hold relatively small savngs until the entire system implodes as a direct consequence of the inherent flaws in the system (fractional reserve banking, creation of money out of thin air vai bond markets, derivatives etc) and the criminality associated with those who operate it.

  9. James111 9

    Obviously the collaspe of the Finance companies ,and the poor government governance was happening right through the Labour Governments term in office. I dont think any political party can point score on this one as both were as slack as each other.

    What was of more concern was Micael Cullen touring the country as an exiting finance minister ,and signing up all of the finance companies that were in a near state of collaspe to the Government bail out scheme. This left a burden of over $1.5 billion for the new government to pick up rather nice departure present dont you think

    • dv 9.1

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6106690/Government-stumbled-over-SCF-Labour
      Stuff
      The Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme was set up with bipartisan support during the 2008 election campaign under the advice of officials who were concerned the global financial crisis would lead to a run on New Zealand banks.

      WHO extended the guarantee to SCF in April 2010

    • marsman 9.2

      The National Administration re-signed SCF back into the scheme knowing it was near collapse, it had NOTHING to do with Michael Cullen. Bill English is responsible for the $1.5 billion burden, a nasty start don’t you think?

    • aerobubble 9.3

      I think you have missed one glaring problem with the retail guarentee, that the UK and OZ have them.
      This makes its even more unfathomable that it fell over so quickly. If consumers (depositers) had any politicial power in this market they would not be havign to take so much risk (or more likely just keep their money aboard).

      Labour arguably, like the left, has found it hard to stand up for the little guy for the last thirty years, thanks to the Murdoch media. As any journalist in NZ, when being honest, would probably say if they wanted long careers they need to work overseas, and to work overseas they would naturally work for Murdoch.

      So of course we have little protection from big companies and big government when the world
      media market is so right wing. But really who didn’t know this would happen, Karl Marx said as much. We all know concentrations of power lead to more concentrations of power.

      And who is harmed most by not balancing society, but not fairing protecting depositers. Well those gaming the system who are most exposed when the crash does come, which is now inevitable because nobody in government or media seems capable of eating humble pie and discussing the problem. Oh, sure there’s the odd CGT debate, and a few worth commentators suggesting that our debt addiction is a huge weight around our collective necks. But hey, who listens to men at the coal face whining sbout how the safety regime isn’t working.

  10. James111 10

    No problem with who agreed to it . It was who they took on ,and how much audting of their business before they were signed up that was the problem. It wasnt an open cheque book to accumalte bad debt.

    I think this is a problem for the Labour party in General ,and the way that they rebirth themselves they dont have many commercially savy or Business savy people in their Government.

    For them to be a strong Government in the future they will have to be more Business friendly as well as moving to centre to attact voters other than the diminishing pond they are continually fishing for votes in with the Greens.

    • Spratwax 10.1

      After 6 years of the Nats, believe me, that diminishing pond you are talking about might just

      become a small lake in 2014!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      For them to be a strong Government in the future they will have to be more Business friendly as well as moving to centre to attact voters…

      Business friendly = radical right which is certainly not in the centre.

      …other than the diminishing pond they are continually fishing for votes in with the Greens.

      Actually, it’s the Greens that are moving into the centre.

  11. grumpy 11

    I said at the time, on these pages that if you want a smoking gun then;

    Totrchlight, Torchlight, Torchlight……………….

  12. Dv 12

    James, i am confused. Are labour still in power?

  13. bobo 13

    If we had a half decent media this would have been investigated in 09 , wonder if any overseas investor cashed in with any links to Key.. just the kind of opportunism he couldn’t resist I’m sure. Playing NZ like an out of tune ukulele. Suckers!

  14. James111 14

    @ Dv No the people have voted and they arent, by quite a butt walloping might I add

    • Dv 14.1

      OK, so it IS the Nats responsible fot the extension to SFC. I thought that was the case.
      If the Nats have more business savy, why did they extend the guarantee?
      Doesnt sound very business like.

      • grumpy 14.1.1

        I suppose that on these pages I am considered a “righty” but for the life of me I cannot understand how either Labour or especially National can explain away how SCF was able to get into, remain – and get paid out by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

        Especially – how were the non secured investers (such as Torchlight) ever get paid out?????????????????

        • Dv 14.1.1.1

          The DGS was set up in a weeked, so that we didnt leak money to australia.
          SFC had a investment grade from S&P at the time and the general feeling was that SFC was sound.
          you can make an argument As if the finance cos should hav been included.
          BUT i agree with you, why did the SFC get the extension from the NATs.

          Yes Kerr? In torchlight got paid out 100m
          Plus all the dodgy loans.
          The money mining by Forsyth Barr
          The retention of 80 Staff in the timaru
          Dismiss of lachie mcleod in 2009 with 500k tax free an forgiving of a 15m loan!
          Etc

      • mik e 14.1.2

        especially as Treasury warned they were in breach of loan tennants.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      The butt walloping that resulted in the National-ACT-UF coalition dropping from 64 seats to 62? Which is likely to soon become 61 or even 60?

      If you throw in the MP’s 3 we get a new arrangement of 65, 64 or 63, down from 69 at the start of their previous term.

  15. Cactus Kate 15

    Not s much a left right thing or even the Nats, more a Bill English South Island welfare clusterfuck..

    As a member of the extreme right of Politics I am already on record as stating SCF should never have been in the guarantee scheme in the first place let alone remained in it, Treasury even specifically responded to my claims http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-debt/news/article.cfm?c_id=54&objectid=10670415

    Looking forward to the greasy pricks wriggling out of what will come out in court.

  16. Carol 16

    Russel Norman interviewd on Checkpoint, RNZ, seems to think Treasury also dropped the ball. He questioned the use of consultants by Treasury. Norman is concerned that there was possibly a conflict of interest with some consultants who were local and maybe had interests in financial organisations. He said that’s why another organisation ( SFO I think) used consultants from overseas who had no financial interests in NZ:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/93291/govt-criticised-over-handling-of-deposit-guarantee-scheme

    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says an immediate inquiry needs to determine if money was wasted through poor decision-making, lack of oversight or inaction.

    Any inquiry should also cover the use of consultants by the Treasury, he says.

    audio of video with the Norman interview is here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/20111208

    • Dv 16.1

      And now the nats cant comment because it sub judice?

      • vto 16.1.1

        God these pricks make me sick. Answer the questions in a full and complete way English you arrogant arsehole. Sub-judice my fucking arse. Lying deceiving bullshitting dogs and pigs (apologies to dogs and pigs).

        The biggest fraud in NZ’s history. Brought about by a government scheme with questions all over it from every angle. And that lying cunt Bill English claims sub-judice?

        This, NZ’s biggest ever fraud by a southland country mile, combined with Pike River, NZ’s most deadly criminally negligent fucked up basket case of an enterprise aided and abetted with corporate and government direction, combined with the great lie that is NZ’s environment and our craphole Minister for the Environment (what a piss joke)….

        The ship of New Zealand is at its lowest point in my lifetime imo.

        Key and English will be remembered for this. I’ve run out of expletives. I hope that the world of karma pays them a visit.

        • anne 16.1.1.1

          I am also getting increasingly worried about nz and its financial viability ahead if what i have learned is fact and i have no reason not to believe it,tied up with fletchers building,christchurch rebuild,and zombie banks on (aotearoa wider perspecitve chch,fletchers,zombie banks),info there.
          It even looks like our reserve bank is questionable, they have a branch called NZ central securities depository ltd, this company is none other than a branch of the nz reserve bank ,nz securities depository ltd is a branch of Rothschild banking empire which controls Bank of America and the Bank of England,i am just blown away with what is comming out of the woodwork.

  17. Akldnut 17

    Just heard on the car radio.
    The newsreader opened with “A request for an inquiry by opposition parties has failed” followed by A spokesman for Bill English has said that there are no plans for an Inquiry into the SCF fraud case. (or something like that – you get the gist)

    The way it was worded implies that it’s not going happen because Bill or his spokesman says they don’t plan for it to go ahead so we need to carry on with our pathetic little lives and forget about it.

  18. randal 18

    so they tell the treasury toturn a blind eye and then they say there will be no inquiry.
    suborning the treasury is the sort of beahviour one expects from banana republics and african despots not first world democracies.
    fair is foul and foul is fair and the treaury stands revealed as an arm of the tory government.
    kweewee and his pals are not leaving a very nice legacy and the sooner this parliament of jobbers and grubbers is dissolved the better.

    • Akldnut 18.1

      For a supposed impartial entity it’s always pushing for Govts to head to the right.
      I can’t remember Treasury not pushing a Tory agenda and I’m no spring chicken.

      • mik e 18.1.1

        They did say that increasing the minimum wage wouldn’t cause job losses but Key spun out of that one.

  19. James111 19

    @Lathanide
    Tell me how did Labours base line vote hold up ? What was Nationals Base line vote again, Yes thats right a butt walloping in any ones mind. How many Labour Mps in the house this year compared with last year. When I looked at the map of NZ after the election it looked very Blue to me Take of your red tinted glasses

    • Jackal 19.1

      That’s great James111 considering National lost nearly 100,000 votes on 2008 and they still get to run the show. I really like the bit where they ignored Treasuries warnings about SCF… a decision which has now cost us $1.7 billion. Any idea why they did that James111?

      Good to see your unwavering support for people who should be considered criminals is unconditional. When I look at a map of New Zealand I see a country that is $1.7 billion dollars poorer because National is either completely incompetent or corrupt. Don’t let your blue tinted glasses let you see the truth though… because you obviously can’t handle the truth.

  20. mik e 20

    J 1×3 take of your FPP glasses and look through your MMP ones left block vs right block
    2 seats thats all it will take on Saturday or maybe it will be 2014.

  21. James111 21

    Mike are you saying now that you are going to rely on Greens and Winston wow!! thats aiming high. What happened to the party for the working man Labour? , once a very proud party. Are you prepared next Election for the Greens to have more seats than Labour.

    Im comparing two parties Labour versus National nothing else. What its telling me is that Labour isnt pulling any of the National support.

    Yet National was able to pull support from Labour in the previous election and hasnt let it go.National was able to build its support right up under key to win an Election can you see Shearer or Cunnlife having the Charisma to do it not from where im sitting.
    Labour needs a total make over

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Im comparing two parties Labour versus National nothing else. What its telling me is that Labour isnt pulling any of the National support.

      The problem with this analysis is that we are not in an FPP world any more.

    • mik e 21.2

      you mean like national with don brash

  22. Jo 22

    Four part harmony please chaps. You know who you are, some of us do too. You know the tune, it’s an old, old song. Round and round you go now… tahi, rua, toru, fa!

    Rort rort rort your float
    then we’ll skim the cream
    verily verily verily verily
    We’re the dreaming team

  23. anne 23

    NZ does not only have scf rort but chch,fletcher as well take a look at
    aotearoa.wider perspective at chch,fletcher,zombie banks,there are alot of branches and
    fish tails of fraud in nz,some have not been uncovered yet.

  24. Kevin 24

    The government introducing the Guarantee Scheme was both naive and foolish because it presented the business community with an opportunity to gamble at the taxpayers expense, which they did.
    Although reprehensible to many , the action taken by investors in placing late deposits was legitimate and legal and a consequence to the naivety of the scheme in the first place.
    It will be difficult to prove fraud or corrupt practices under those circumstances, the taxpayer will have to take the burden of losses engineered for this scheme.

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