Two await court sentence on corruption charges

Hemant Kumar Maharaj and Suresh Din have been found guilty on June 13, 2013 of charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the Auckland District Court

SFO laid charges in September 2010 against Mr Maharaj and Mr Din for their corrupt scheme within the North Shore City Council.

The scheme involved using their roles as an employee and a contractor to obtain approximately $849,000 in illegal funds.

Mr Maharaj and Mr Din were found guilty of four joint counts of using a document with intent to defraud and seven counts of dishonestly using a document, over a period of approximately 10 years.

Mr Maharaj has also been found guilty of two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the alteration and provision of a diary and the creation of a receipt book.

Mr Din has been found guilty of one count of using a document with intent to defraud and six counts of dishonestly using a document in relation to the use of income tax returns that claimed expenditure he had not incurred.

While Mr Maharaj was working for the North Shore City Council in 1999, the pair formed an agreement to invoice the Council for road and berm maintenance work.

However, this work was never completed.

They used 151 invoices in their scheme, with Mr Din submitting the invoices under the name of S Din Family Trust.

After the invoices were submitted by Mr Din, Mr Maharaj would sign off the work as being completed and forward the invoice for payment.

Acting SFO Chief Executive, Simon McArley said that while New Zealand has a very clean record of corruption within the public sector, only vigilance and robust internal processes will enable New Zealand to maintain this reputation.

“Addressing abuse of public funds by corrupt public employees is one of SFO’s highest priorities. The impact of the schemes can best be addressed by the earliest possible intervention. It may take courage but we strongly encourage people to bring matters to our attention as soon as they suspect unethical practices,” he said.

Mr Maharaj and Mr Din will be sentenced on July 25, 2013.

Serious Fraud Office Release

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