Raid in Waikawa

Six in court for alleged ads scam

Last updated 09:16 25/10/2012

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A Waikawa man's home was raided and he was arrested yesterday after an investigation into an alleged multimillion-dollar magazine scam.

Four properties were raided across New Zealand and six people arrested after a six-agency investigation into the alleged scam.

Anthony John Hendon was arrested at his Waikawa Bay home, near Picton, by Organised Financial Crime Agency staff and police in the dawn raids yesterday. He is alleged to have been part of a group selling advertising in bogus magazines that either did not exist, or were produced in tiny numbers - enough only to placate advertisers who wanted to see their advertisements.

The alleged scam targeted charities, small businesses and national organisations.

The raids followed a Serious Fraud Office-led investigation which had assistance from the Commerce Commission, Inland Revenue, Customs, police and the Organised Financial Crime Agency.

Graham Gill, SFO general manager of evaluation and intelligence, said: ''We have had 67 staff executing search warrants in the North and South Islands. We have arrested six people and charged them with multiple fraud charges and with participating in an organised criminal group.''

I think taking one group sends a very clear signal to any other person who operates in this scam business that they need to get out of the business or else someone will be coming knocking on their door one day.

''Hendon and another man appeared in Blenheim District Court yesterday.

Four others appeared in courts around the country, Mr Gill said, but the locations were not disclosed. 

The six arrested will be held in custody for three days to prevent them destroying evidence or speaking to witnesses.


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