Fraud ac­cused trio plead not guilty

The Timaru Herald - - FASHION&BEAUTY - ANUJA NADKARNI

The lawyer, banker and wife of a con­victed prop­erty de­vel­oper are on trial for their al­leged in­volve­ment in a $54 mil­lion mort­gage fraud.

Ear­lier this month the man at the cen­tre of the fraud case, Kang Huang, also known as Gang Wang, was sen­tenced to four years and seven months prison af­ter ad­mit­ting to hav­ing pro­vided false in­for­ma­tion to ac­quire fraud­u­lent home loans and to brib­ing one em­ployee in De­cem­ber.

Huang’s as­so­ciates al­legedly in­volved in the fraud – his wife, Kang Xu, lawyer Gang Chen and former Bank of New Zealand em­ployee Zongliang Jiang – pleaded not guilty to a to­tal of 72 charges laid by the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice (SFO).

A fourth as­so­ci­ate al­legedly in­volved in the fraud, former ANZ banker Peter Cheng, fled over­seas be­fore his ar­rest.

SFO pros­e­cu­tor Todd Sim­monds said Huang and Xu were bankrupted in 2010 and were dis­charged in 2013. About 14 months af­ter they were de­clared bank­rupt, the pair set up con­struc­tion com­pany LV Park, which is at the cen­tre of the fraud.

Un­able to bor­row from the ma­jor trad­ing banks, LV Park made sham arms-length sales to ob­tain bank loans through the use of false doc­u­ments. The doc­u­ments used fake iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and names of em­ploy­ees, friends and fam­ily.

Sim­monds al­leged that although Huang was the in­sti­ga­tor of the fraud, his wife Xu know­ingly sup­plied false doc­u­ments to bank man­ager Jiang for loan ap­proval.

Chen was al­legedly very close to Huang and acted as a so­lic­i­tor for both ven­dor and buyer in most of the prop­erty trans­ac­tions.

The fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity in­volved 75 prop­er­ties. There are three banks in­volved in the case: ANZ, BNZ and a third, which has name sup­pres­sion.

Sim­monds said the fraud was ‘‘or­gan­ised, sys­tem­atic and com­plex de­cep­tion’’.

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