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Former ACC property manager faces corruption charges

Tuesday 23rd November 2010 1 Comment

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Former ACC national property manager Malcolm Mason has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office in a case SFO chief Adam Feeley described as "one of the most serious investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption in New Zealand in many years."

The SFO has laid eight charges against Mason and another individual (who has name suppression) relating to a series of corrupt property transactions involving the ACC.

Feeley said the charges, under the Crimes Act and Secret Commissions Act, were the result of an inquiry into numerous property development and leasing arrangements involving ACC over a two and a half year period.

"There have been wider, and serious, issues raised by this investigation; including procurement processes in the public sector; the process for referring corruption allegations to law enforcement agencies, and the scope of New Zealand's bribery laws," Feeley said.

"It is a timely reminder that despite a global reputation for being the least corrupt country in the world, there are constant and very real threats to that reputation."

Mason had worked for ACC for 32 years and in the role of national property manager had responsibility for the procurement of premises for the use of ACC, tendering for the suitable development of such premises and negotiating lease terms between ACC and the landlords of such premises.

Mason and the individual with name suppression were remanded without plea until December 14.

Feeley said the SFO investigation extended wider than the persons and transactions that were subject to the charges laid, but on the advice of the Wellington Crown Solicitor there was insufficient grounds for further action.

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Comments from our readers

On 24 November 2010 at 10:00 am Ian Lawson said:
Yet another pig with snout in the public trough! Dump this guy where he belongs - in a 'hard labour' penal institution where he has to work to pay his keep!!
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