Global Economic Crime

Global Economic Crime
Monday January 23, 2012

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) have released their Global Economic Crime survey results. It appears that, despite being the 3rd best country in the world to live in (2010 United Nations Human Development Report), and rated by Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index as the least corrupt, nearly half of all New Zealanders reported that they were the victim of at least one instance of economic crime (49.5% up from 42% in 2009), including two people who reportedly lost more than US$5 million! Obviously, New Zealand is going downhill. Could that be because 21% of New Zealand organisations report that they simply gave the fraudster a warning or is it because of the lack of a whistleblower hotline in New Zealand? Transparency International has been lobbying for New Zealand to stop resting on its laurels for some time now, and from the PwC report it appears it may be right - we may all fall victims to economic crime at one time or another. What can you do about it if you are the victim of fraud or corruption? Depending on the circumstances, you can report it to the Serious Fraud Office, file a civil suit against the fraudster yourself, or contact your local Police station. I recently had a client who had invested over NZ$1 million in what turned out to be a “ponzi” scheme run by a fraudster - someone who my client considered a mate and who was well known in the community. He offered his “friends” a chance to invest in the same great investment schemes that were providing him with new BMWs and fishing trips to exotic locales. When his investors started asking for their money back, however, he had to find someone else to give him money to cover it, as he had never invested the money anywhere, but had instead used it to support his lifestyle. On behalf of my client, I commenced proceedings against the fraudster and successfully settled the matter including payment to my client of monies invested. My client is very happy to have his money back! See the full text of the PwC NZ country report here: www.pwc.com/nz/fraudsurvey

 

By Chris Patterson