SFO mounts charges on Canterbury firm

Two directors of the failed Lane Walker Rudkin Industries (LWR) based in Canterbury are facing a total of 90 charges between them, relating to allegations of fraud brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Company Director Kenneth James Anderson (64) faces 82 criminal charges including fabrication of financial documents to obtain and retain borrowing facilities from Westpac Bank, totalling about $11 million.

Another person, who has name suppression, is facing eight charges relating to the letter of credit facility.

SFO Acting Director Simon McArley said the fraud had impacted the region and that the Company’s closure had affected many people in the Canterbury region.

“It is essential to uphold the integrity and credibility of New Zealand businesses,” he said.

Incorporated in 2001, LWR went into receivership in April 2009. The SFO commenced investigation in September 2009, following concerns raised by BDO Spicers, which was the Receiver.

According to Mr McArley, despite the earthquakes and aftershocks suffered by Christchurch, the scale of losses and high level of public interest demanded perseverance with the case.

“We will never let speed compromise the quality or thoroughness of an investigation, particularly in a case such as this which has enormous local interest,” he said.

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