25 Oct 2012

Six arrests in alleged $1.6m scam

5:23 pm on 25 October 2012

A major operation involving several government agencies has led to the arrests of six people accused of running an advertising invoice scam that netted them $1.6 million.

The Serious Fraud Office says the men sold advertising in magazines that didn't exist or where the number of magazines printed was grossly exaggerated.

The arrests follow a five-month investigation by a new multi-agency taskforce set up this year.

SFO chief executive Simon McArley says the operation was the widest multi-agency investigation of its kind in New Zealand.

It involved more than 60 staff from the Serious Fraud Office, the Police, Customs, the Organised and Financial Crime Agency , the Commerce Commission and Inland Revenue.

He says without this multi-pronged approach, this type of crime may have gone undetected.

Mr McArley says there are other similar investigations about to come to fruition.