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By Friday, 10 May 2024

Roading subcontractor pleads guilty to corruption charges

Frederick Pou is one of three subcontractors charged with allegedly paying bribes in exchange for being awarded road maintenance work by former Broadspectrum roading contract manager Jason Koroheke. Mr Koroheke and former maintenance manager Aurelian Mihai Hossu (also known as Michael Hossu) were also charged in relation to the scheme. Charges against a fourth subcontractor have been withdrawn.

SFO Director Karen Chang says, “The latest guilty plea is another important step in this prosecution and our ongoing efforts to tackle complex fraud and corruption.”

The subcontractors are alleged to have submitted invoices to Broadspectrum, both real and fake, which were authorised by Mr Koroheke. Once Broadspectrum paid the subcontractors, they are alleged to have used this money to provide gifts to Mr Koroheke in the form of cash, goods or services. In this way, Mr Koroheke is alleged to have benefitted by more than $1 million.

Mr Koroheke has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A Judge Alone Trial is scheduled to commence on 1 July 2024.

Mr Hossu, who worked with Mr Koroheke, pleaded guilty in April 2022 to four charges of acceptance of gifts by agent. He made a reparation payment of $90,000 which was considered when he was sentenced in June 2023 to 11 months’ home detention.

Richard Motilal of Engineering & Aviation Supplies pleaded guilty in February 2023 to three charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent. He was sentenced in August 2023 to nine months’ home detention and to make a reparation payment of $25,000.

A third subcontractor, who has name suppression, pleaded guilty in February 2024 to two charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent and one charge of obtaining by deception. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 2024. Ongoing name suppression will also be determined at this hearing.

Mr Pou’s sentencing has been scheduled for Monday 30 September 2024 in the Auckland District Court.

Case history timeline.(external link)

About the SFO
The SFO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex fraud, including bribery, and corruption in New Zealand. With a focus on maintaining integrity and trust in the financial system, the SFO has developed strategic areas of focus to ensure it has the greatest impact with the cases it takes in. These are reviewed and updated every 12-18 months. SFO Strategic Areas of Focus(external link)

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