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Developer accused of taking investor funds

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 15:12 20/05/2014

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A thrice-bankrupted property developer and his wife have been accused in High Court civil filings of withdrawing $342,961 of funds solicited from property investors.

Damien Grant and Steven Khov, of Waterstone Insolvency, liquidators for Blake Street Trustee, have filed a claim in the High Court in Auckland alleging Peter Chevin and his wife, Anne-Marie Chevin, withdrew the sum from the company between March 2010 and October 2011.

The claim alleges these transactions were funded by a complex scheme involving money taken out of three companies raising investor funds to develop real estate on Auckland's North Shore.

"The ultimate effect of the above series of transactions is that the first and second defendants used Hunter Capital, Hunter Gills Road and Albany Heights Villas to take investor funds and transfer it to themselves for no value," the claim alleges.

These three companies were part of a development syndicate that advertised heavily in Southeast Asia to raise funds to build properties on Auckland's North Shore.

Grant and Khov, also acting as liquidator for these three companies, have said in their reports that investors are owed more than $9 million from the developments that have all foundered.

Liquidators are seeking the return of the $342,961, plus interest and costs.

Chevin and his wife are defending the claim, provisionally set down for a two-day hearing in November.

Chevin declined to comment, or provide details of his defence, when contacted by Fairfax Media.

A third defendant, Peter Hill, is alleged to have taken over directing Blake Street just prior to Peter Chevin's bankruptcy.

Hill said he would "vigorously" defend the claim.

"Their case is quite weak, because they're attacking the wrong company," Hill said.

"Frankly, the thing will be thrown out."

As director of Blake Street Trustee, he had appointed Waterstone as liquidator, Hill said.

"Why on earth would I drop myself in it and set myself up?" he said.

Chevin is one of five people charged by the Financial Markets Authority in relation to collapsed Mutual Finance and Viaduct Capital.

Chevin had indicated to the FMA he would seek name suppression, but no order was in place during his first appearance in the Auckland District Court this month.

The three Albany developments have also drawn the attention of the Serious Fraud Office.

Simon McArley, then acting director of the SFO, said in October last year a formal investigation had been opened into the development.

Chevin was bankrupted in May 1989, May 1995 and November 2008.

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