23 Nov 2010

Long-time ACC employee accused of corruption

3:35 pm on 23 November 2010

A long-time employee of the Accident Compensation Corporation is to face eight charges relating to corrupt property transactions.

The charges relate to transactions made by the ACC and the passing of ACC information by Malcolm David Mason to a third party.

Mr Mason worked for ACC for 32 years.

Another person, whose name has been suppressed, has also been charged in what the Serious Fraud Office says is one of the most serious cases involving allegations of bribery and corrruption in New Zealand for many years.

Mr Mason, 50, was the ACC's national property manager and in charge of buildings owned or leased by the corporation. He was dismissed in April this year for failing to follow internal ACC policy and the matter was referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

ACC Minister Nick Smith says the charges are a cause of great concern.

Dr Smith says he raised concerns early in his term as minister about the amount of money the corporation was paying for buildings and refurbishments.

ACC says it acted as soon as suspicions of potential staff fraud were raised.

The accused have been remanded without plea until 14 December.