SFO eyeing rewards for whistleblowers similar to those now used in United States to catch Ponzi schemers, fraudsters

SFO eyeing rewards for whistleblowers similar to those now used in United States to catch Ponzi schemers, fraudsters

By Bernard Hickey

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has said it is in the early stages of considering whether to offer rewards, bounties and percentages of fines to whistleblowers providing evidence to detect serious frauds and the sorts of Ponzi schemes similar to the one run by Bernie Madoff.

"There has been some early discussions," SFO Acting CEO Simon McArley told a news conference before a seminar on Economic Crime in Auckland. 

The seminar's headline speaker is Harry Markopolos, the whistleblower and independent fraud investigator who uncovered Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff 8 years before his scheme collapsed. Markopolos told the news conference about the rewards now available to whistleblowers in the United States.

He said the US Congress had set up a US$452 million fund for such whistleblowers and it had been successful. US authorities were now receiving 7-8 tipoffs a day and 20% of the tips were leading to successful prosecutions.

UK and EU regulators also at the conference said they did not have such reward programmes, saying they instead focused on assuring whistleblowers of their anonymity.

Elsewhere,  McArley referred to the Serious Fraud Office's 7 investigations into Ponzi schemes in New Zealand over the last 12 to 18 months, including Ross Asset Management, B'On Financial and Allan Hubbard's Aorangi Securities.

This is the first official recognition that Aorangi was a Ponzi scheme. 

See a video interview with Markopolos here.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

9 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

So finally, official confirmation that old father Hubbard was running a ponzi scheme.
 
I await with baited breath the flood of mea culpas from his long time defenders in the Timaru mafia.

What about our fatuous media who used to talk about the South Islands richest man.  And couldn't write much past that he drove an old V W.  They interviewed their keyboards and not much else.

SFO serious about Ponzi's? How about we start with the state pensions and work our way down from there?

The unfunded liability trading as the Government Superannuation Fund deserves some taxpayer attention, if not the SFO . 

Can I ring up and report to SFO about the Ponzi scheme by our local council?  They demanded a big chunk of our money with big promises and provided nothing!

Why so grumpy Mr Sorrel?
Be grateful you live in this fine country where the Minister of Building & Construction , Mr Maurice Williamson had the gall to offfer this statement.
"On becoming a Minister, I instructed officials that I would not receive papers on and would withdraw from discussions about heating and ventilation because of my directorship of Holyoake Industries Ltd,"
http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/williamson-accused-conflict-interest-mai...
I mean folks don't need heat or air in buildings do they, don't be so selfish Mr Sorrel, Mr Williamson has his private directorships to look after.
Hahaha
and Simon McArley, an ex Kensington Swan lackey, now lecturing on behalf of S.F.O.
Makes my sides split.

While the SFO laid 50 charges of ‘alleged fraud’ against Allan Hubbard, the charges never heard before the Court and they were to have been rigorously defended by Mr Hubbard’s Legal Counsel.
 
Since Mr Hubbard’s death, we were ‘informed’ by someone from within the SFO that 44 of the alleged charges were in the process of being dropped by the at the time of Allan Hubbard’s death because it was known that they would not stand up in Court, and we were also ‘informed’ that the remaining 6 charges would probably also be dropped because they were described as ‘trivial’.
 
The Bill of Rights Act Section 25(c) states:
Everyone who is charged with an offence has, in relation to the determination of the charge, the following minimum rights:
the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law:

 
After the death of Allan Hubbard, Court proceedings relating to any charges were permanently stayed, therefore Mr Hubbard held the presumption of innocence.
 
As matters of Aorangi are yet to be heard in Court, McArley’s recent inappropriate comments in the Media have impeded the rights of natural justice and have influenced members of the public to interpret his statements as proven and factual.
 
The 13th Statutory Report (January 2013) by Grant Thornton has publicly stated:
 
‘No one will dispute that Mr Hubbard was running large and complex businesses, which he had managed for many decades quite successfully’

'The statutory managers believe Aorangi investors could get almost all of their investment capital back if the managers are successful in the Court hearing set down for 20 May 2013 in the Timaru High Court.
 
'During the period from April 2009 to March 2010, Mr and Mrs Hubbard introduced assets into Aorangi. They did so in their personal capacities, as trustees of various trusts and as company shareholders and directors. Those assets were in the form of shares and loans in farm owning companies, partnerships and commercial entities. There are some 34 separate entities involved with the assets having an estimated current value of approximately $60 million.'

The above comments by the Statutory Managers confirm that Aorangi has not been involved in Ponzi fraud, therefore it was inappropriate that McArley has publicly stated otherwise.
 
If the SFO is to regain any of its lost credibility in the public sector, it is mandatory that the head of the SFO is seen to act with integrity and honesty and should be above any reproach.
 
In the interests of the Bill of Rights Act, we believe it would be appropriate that McArley’s statements inferring Aorangi was the subject of Ponzi fraud should be publicly redacted and a suitable apology should be made to the Hubbard family and investors.
 
 

Well written Reality.  So many Public Service Organisations appear to have little understanding of the rights laid out in The Bill of Rights Act.
 
 

We?