The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced that it has laid 33 charges in the Auckland District Court against Paul Michael Normington (33) and Jin Weifeng (28), for Crimes Act and Secret Commissions Act offences.
Mr Normington and Mr Weifeng are jointly facing charges of theft, dishonestly using a document and taking secret commissions.
Mr Normington also faces a charge of accessing a computer system for dishonest purpose.
The pair allegedly participated in a number of transactions while working for their former employer, the Sutton Group (Sutton). Mr Normington and Mr Weifeng allegedly combined to defraud Sutton either by the creation of false invoices, theft of product or by receiving secret commissions from a supplier of product to Sutton.
Mr Normington also allegedly copied electronic files from the Sutton server for his own benefit to assist him starting his own business in competition with Sutton.
SFO Chief Executive Adam Feeley said that the Office made a decision to prosecute on this investigation with efficiency following the initial complaint received in January.
“This is a case about potential loss avoided, rather than actual loss, in an industry that has national importance to New Zealand. This is a good example of how we can be involved in issues prior to a risk crystallising i.e. somewhat further up the cliff, rather than as the ambulance always at the bottom.” he said.