The Serious Fraud Office says two former managers of failed Wellington based gas retailer E-Gas are facing fraud charges involving $17 million.
Former managing director Ronald Peter Rosenberg, 71, and former general manager Sydney Lio Hunt, 44, each face 41 charges relating to the dishonest use of documents.
The SFO alleges they deliberately under-reported the quantity of gas their company supplied to retail customers.
It says it began investigating E-Gas in December 2010, two months after the gas retailer was placed into voluntary liquidation.
SFO general manager, fraud and corruption, Nick Patterson, says it is a unique case.
"We've not come across any issues such as this. The gas industry is one which is actually technically quite complex but what we're alleging boils down to a very simple transaction, which is theft of gas. So we've not had lots of experience in the gas industry but we've got lots of experience of similar such matters."
The two men will next appear in Wellington District Court in September.