Wednesday 22nd March 2017
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A former employee of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare pleaded guilty to a series of corruption-related charges in the Auckland District Court, the Serious Fraud Office said.
According to the SFO, 49-year-old Simon William Hall pleaded guilty to one Crimes Act charge of ‘obtaining by deception’ and two charges under Section 8 of the Secret Commissions Act.
Hall committed offences while in his role as an area manager based in Auckland and dealing with companies in the Middle Eastern market, the SFO said. The charges relate to payments received by Hall for approving a Saudi Arabian company as a distributor of F&P Healthcare products and a single payment from a Jordanian company to also become a distributor.
It is understood that Mr Hall received approximately $213,000 in payments.
“The acceptance of rewards outside of an employment contract which prohibits receipt of any commission or payment, is a fraudulent act and unacceptable in New Zealand business whether it is on our shores or being conducted overseas," said SFO director Julie Read.
F&P Healthcare had no knowledge that Hall received these payments, said the SFO. F&P Healthcare said it conducted an internal investigation when it became aware of the issue in 2014. Following the outcome of that investigation, Hall was dismissed for misconduct and the matter was referred to the law enforcement agency, F&P Healthcare said in a statement to the stock exchange. Hall was employed by F&P Healthcare in February 2002 and was dismissed in December 2014, the SFO said.
“We are disappointed with what has occurred. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare does not tolerate this type of behaviour and, following an independent review, we are confident in our systems to prevent a recurrence,” said Tony Barclay, F&P Healthcare chief financial officer.
Hall will appear for sentencing in the Auckland District Court on June 9.
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