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Blue Chip sales rep sentenced on fraud charges

Thursday 12th April 2012

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Former Blue Chip Southland sales person Rachel Jarvis has been sentenced to home detention and will make financial reparations in relation to $1.47 million of mortgage fraud.

In the Invercargill District Court Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Jarvis to seven months home detention, 200 hours community service and $50,000 worth of reparations, though he said the conviction wasn’t in relation to Blue Chip’s collapse.

In February Jarvis pleaded guilty to five charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office under the Crimes Act, including forgery and forging documentation for personal benefit. Jarvis altered lending documents to secure loans worth about $1.47 million for property investments, leaving investors with property they wouldn’t be able to afford.

“The case demonstrates that we have retained an open mind on all matters connected with the Blue Chip group, and if further evidence of fraud comes to light we will investigate those matters as well,” SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said in a statement.

In 2010, the SFO dropped its investigation into the Blue Chip group of companies, saying it may have operated in a “moral vacuum” but it wasn’t fraudulent.

In January the liquidator for Blue Chip filed a $40 million claim against the group, which banked investors’ funds straight into its own bank accounts instead of into trust accounts.

Liquidators have been working on recoveries for investors through civil action, with January’s step the first in what may be a lengthy legal process.

Former Blue Chip boss Mark Bryers faces indefinite bankruptcy in New Zealand after the Official Assignee lodged an objection against discharging him. He was bankrupted in 2009 after his Blue Chip property investment scheme started falling over.

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