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By Friday, 07 June 2024

Roading subcontractor sentenced on bribery charges

The subcontractor pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court in February to one charge of obtaining by deception of approximately $631k and two charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent amounting to approximately $615k. They applied for permanent name suppression. A decision on this will be delivered on 25 June.

Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Director Karen Chang says, “Our ongoing commitment to take on cases such as these is critical to ensure we maintain New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity, and low levels of fraud and corruption.”

“Our approach in this case demonstrates that any parties involved in corrupt activities can be subject to investigation and prosecution and ultimately held to account. This case also serves as a reminder that the SFO remains focused on tackling corrupt activities, particularly where there are links to public sector funding.”

The individual sentenced is one of three subcontractors charged by the SFO in relation to the scheme, including Frederick Pou and Richard Motilal, alongside former Broadspectrum roading contract manager Jason Koroheke and former maintenance manager Aurelian Mihai Hossu (also known as Michael Hossu).

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 Monday 1 July 2024 in the Auckland District Court.

Mr Pou pleaded guilty in May 2024 to corruptly giving gifts to an agent totalling $626k to secure contracts. Mr Pou’s sentencing has been scheduled for Monday 30 September 2024 in the Auckland District Court.

Mr Motilal of Engineering and Aviation Supplies pleaded guilty in February 2023 in the Auckland District Court to three charges of corruptly giving gifts to an agent. He was sentenced in August last year to nine months’ home detention and to pay $25,000 in reparation.

Mr Hossu, pleaded guilty in April 2022 in the Auckland District Court to four charges of acceptance of gifts by agent. He was sentenced to 11 months home detention in June 2022.

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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