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Former head of collapsed Blue Chip group charged with fraud in Australia reportedly after providing tax structuring advice

Former head of collapsed Blue Chip group charged with fraud in Australia reportedly after providing tax structuring advice

Notorious former Blue Chip boss Mark Bryers has been charged with fraud in Australia.

Bryers is one of 12 people facing charges in Australia after a joint investigation by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Tax Office and the Australian Federal Police.

This follows a series of raids by Australian police on what ASIC is describing as "a transnational and serious organised criminal syndicate using labour hire and payroll companies associated with the building and construction industry to defraud the Commonwealth," [of Australia].

"The total value of the fraud has been calculated at more than $A17 million," ASIC said.

Bryers has been charged with one count of conspiring with the intention dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth of Australia, and one count of intentionally dealing with the proceeds of crime, money or property worth $A1 million or more, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.

According to ASIC, it will be alleged in court that the syndicate had effective control of labour hire companies undertaking legitimate work in the building and construction industry.

"The syndicate then outsourced the processing of their payroll services to separate payroll companies," ASIC said.

"This is usually a lawful practice that involves a payroll company processing the individual payment of employee wages, superannuation, insurance  and tax obligations to the Australian Tax Office.

"It will be alleged in court that the syndicate also operated and controlled these payroll companies for the sole purpose of not paying mandatory Pay As You Go Withholding tax to the Australian Tax Office," ASIC said.

"These funds were moved through other entities in an attempt to disguise their origin, before eventually being transferred into bank accounts controlled by syndicate members and their associates, including those belonging to a senior member of an Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang and the partner of an organised crime figure currently in prison.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Bryers is alleged to have been providing tax structuring advice to the syndicate.

Australian Federal Police commander Kirsty Schofield, said the arrests were the result of outstanding detective work.

"Transnational and organised crime groups are evolving," she said.

"No longer do they target any specific crime or commodity, they adapt to their environments by recruiting professional enablers to provide experience in the financial, legal or any other field they feel they can earn money."

Bryers founded the controversial NZX-listed property investment company Blue Chip group which collapsed in 2008 owing around $85 million. The Serious Fraud Office completed investigations into the Blue Chip group of companies in 2010 without laying charges.

Bryers subsequently moved to Australia. He was bankrupted in New Zealand in 2009 and prohibited from managing or controlling a business for seven years. He was conditionally discharged from bankruptcy in 2015.

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If Bryers were working for Facebook or Unilever, he would be a hero for his efforts to minimize tax and would be rewarded accordingly. That's no way any vote of confidence or admiration for him, but there's a fine line between being a public enemy or carrying a business card from KPMG.

He should be put in a nice warm 10x12 for a long time. Note I did not lose any money through blue chip, those investors who did would not be so kind.

Is he going to be deported back here sometime........the kiwis invested in Blue Chip might get the last laugh after all.

I love how this was up for ages before anyone commented, almost as if no one was surprised at all for some reason.

They couldn't figure out a way to spin it to blame Labour, so most frequent posters ignored it.

Well, it's not like he did something truly awful like claim too much of a benefit.

How he avoided jail still stuns me. The IT guy working there had backups of everything, including all the stuff that got shredded and or deleted in the last six to twelve months of operations. All supplied to the receiver on day one, and they still didnt get him in jail.

same (Teflon) coating he had on as some of our politicians

These white collar crims never change, their inbuilt superiority complex compels them to have another go! Maybe this time he will get what’s due, unlike NZ who gave him a free pass.

Now he has been discharged from bankruptcy here, he will be able to move back to NZ and set up a new venture. Happy Days, Happy Investors!

Big bad Bryers. Once bad, always bad.

Looks like a Mafia crime story. The Godfathers of America would be proud of these people.
Do they operate in other countries too ? Here in Aotearoa too ?

The person who uncovered this crook was Olly Newland who worked tirelessly to unravel the mess after a tip off.
He received many threats and attempts to block his investigations but he didn’t give up. When he finally worked out what was happening he reported his findings to various politicians but no one was interested. But then he contacted his local MP at the time Rodney Hyde, who put him onto the Commerce Commission and then things got going. He also assisted the liquidator for a long time but that got no where from lack of funds. Although nothing could be done to help those who lost everything at least it stopped more being entrapped. His work to end this Ponzi Scheme has never been recognised to this day.