22 Sep 2009

Hearing begins for former MP accused of fraud

5:04 pm on 22 September 2009

A hearing is under way in Auckland for a former MP and three others accused of being involved in a complex gaming trust fraud.

The four are facing 17 charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office relating to dishonestly using documents to obtain charitable trust funds for their own benefit.

All have been granted name suppression.

Serious Fraud Office prosecutor John Upton, QC, told the hearing at the Auckland Distrct Court there were three schemes and described them as "fraudulent money-go-rounds".

Mr Upton says in one scheme, the former MP and another defendant organised a dishonest conspiracy involving children's books to extract funds from a charitable gaming trust.

The former MP is charged with conspiring to use documents dishonestly to obtain a pecuniary advantage. The SFO says he tried to mislead investigators by producing and lying about a receipts book.

Two defendants on Tuesday conceded there is a case to answer and have been committed to trial.