The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) says its investigation into Allan Hubbard and associated entities will continue after consideration of a preliminary investigation report.
(Update adds more detail).
The SFO's announcement comes after accounting firm Grant Thornton, Hubbard's statutory manager, released its second report on Friday.
SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said as Grant Thornton's report noted, there were issues in relation to Hubbard Management Funds (HMF) that required consideration.
Feeley said the SFO's initial inquiries focused primarily on Aorangi Securities.
However, it had become apparent that there was "considerable overlap" between Aorangi and the investments in HMF.
"Our further inquiries will be considering both these and related entities.”
After receiving the preliminary report Feeley had three options, - decide there was insufficient evidence of serious and complex fraud and drop the investigation, to say the SFO’s initial inquiries confirmed a need for further investigation, or lay charges.
Read the SFO's statement below:
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today said that its investigations would continue following consideration of a preliminary investigation report into the affairs of Aorangi Securities Limited (ASL).
Chief Executive, Adam Feeley, said “This investigation was commenced because the SFO, after very careful consideration of the information received from the Registrar of Companies, believed offences involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed. With the additional information acquired since then, I consider that it is appropriate to further our inquiries.”
Mr Feeley said that the recent reports by the statutory managers had highlighted the range of issues which were emerging the inquiries into ASL and Hubbard Management Funds (HMF).
“This is a major investigation into a very complex range of issues. It would be foolish to think that some investor interviews and a cursory examination of the documentation would do justice to the issues that have been raised.”
“The SFO is carrying out an investigation which is thorough and mindful of the need to move as swiftly as possible, but we will not compromise the integrity of our investigations for the sake of a quick result.”
Mr Feeley added that, as the statutory managers’ reports had indicated, there were issues in relation HMF that required consideration.
“Our initial inquiries focused primarily on matters raised by the Registrar in connection with investors funds deposited with ASL, but it has become apparent that there is considerable overlap between ASL and the investments in HMF. Our further inquiries will be considering both these and related entities.”
Mr Feeley said that, while the initial inquiries and preliminary report had significantly progressed the investigation, there were still several interviews along with considerable financial analysis to be undertaken before a further report would be completed for consideration.