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Another Blue Chip investigation launched by SFO

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, July 22 NZPA - The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is probing a Blue Chip franchise in the South Island separately to its investigation into the affairs of Blue Chip Financial Solutions Ltd.

SFO director Adam Feeley said the latest investigation comes after police forwarded information suggesting documents provided to investors by a Blue Chip franchise employee were misleading. Lending documents may have been altered by that employee to induce financiers into lending funds for property investments.

Police had already undertaken a thorough preliminary investigation and it had been agreed between the two agencies that the SFO was better placed to conclude the inquiry, Mr Feeley said.

"We are grateful to the police for the good work they have already done on this matter, and their work should enable us to complete the investigation in a shorter time-frame," he said.

A separate investigation into Blue Chip Financial Solutions has concluded and a report is under consideration. As a part of that process the SFO will be talking with Paul Dale, the legal counsel for a number of Blue Chip investors. A decision on the transactions under investigation is expected to be made within the next few weeks.

Blue Chip founder Mark Bryers avoided a jail term after pleading guilty to 34 charges laid by the Ministry of Economic Development in relation to the running of companies in the Blue Chip group.

Nineteen companies associated with Blue Chip were placed in liquidation in 2008, affecting about 2000 property investors.

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