SFO files charges in West Coast corruption case

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November 1, 2019

Four people have been charged by the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly manipulating Westland District Council’s procurement processes for financial gain.

The charges relate to three procurement processes including the Franz Josef wastewater treatment plant design and build contract.

Vivek Goel (42), who was a member of the Westland District Council’s executive team, has pleaded not guilty to four charges of ‘Corrupt use of official information’ and two charges of ‘Obtaining by deception.’

Mr Goel was the Council’s Group Manager of District Assets at the time of the alleged offending and was involved in overseeing the local authority’s procurement processes.

Neha Bubna (36) has pleaded not guilty to one charge of ‘Corrupt use of official information’ and one charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’.

The two other defendants, who have interim name suppression, have not entered pleas.

The Charges

105A Corrupt use of official information

Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly uses or discloses any information, acquired by him or her in his or her official capacity, to obtain, directly or indirectly, an advantage or a pecuniary gain for himself or herself or any other person.

240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception

(1) Every one is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception who, by any deception and without claim of right,—

(a) obtains ownership or possession of, or control over, any property, or any privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly; or

(b) in incurring any debt or liability, obtains credit; or

(c) induces or causes any other person to deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse, destroy, or alter any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage; or

(d) causes loss to any other person.

(1A) Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who, without reasonable excuse, sells, transfers, or otherwise makes available any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage knowing that, by deception and without claim of right, the document or thing was, or was caused to be, delivered, executed, made, accepted, endorsed, or altered.

(2) In this section, deception means—

(a) a false representation, whether oral, documentary, or by conduct, where the person making the representation intends to deceive any other person and—

(i) knows that it is false in a material particular; or

(ii) is reckless as to whether it is false in a material particular; or

(b) an omission to disclose a material particular, with intent to deceive any person, in circumstances where there is a duty to disclose it; or

(c) a fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem used with intent to deceive any person.

 

 

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