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SFO launches probe into North Shore property development

Monday 14th October 2013

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The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into a North Shore property development which has left foreign investors out of pocket after the companies went broke and the land sold to new developers.

The companies include developer Chris Cook's Albany Heights Villas Ltd and Hunter Gills Road Ltd, which are both in liquidation. The SFO is looking into allegations that investor funds weren't held in trust, and that the developers made misleading statements.

Acting chief executive Simon McArley said a number of the investors are foreigners, and that the terms of the agreements differ between investors.

"The legal structures of the investments offered are extremely complex. Our first task has been to get to the bottom of the legal implications of those agreements," McArley said in a statement. "Whether there is potential for criminal offending to be an issue will depend largely on the outcome of that analysis."

As Aug. 4, the liquidators for Albany Heights Villas had received 39 unsecured creditor claims totalling $16.9 million, according to their latest report, while Hunter Gills Road owed secured creditors $649,000 and unsecured creditors $1.9 million as at Sept. 26.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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