The Standard has a posted an updated listing today of John Key’s lies. There’s a lot of them.
One lie that doesn’t often make these lists is what I believe to be the biggest lie of all: his 1991 statement to the Equiticorp inquiry.
In July 1990 New Zealand’s newly formed Serious Fraud Office were charged with investigating the shambles that was Equiticorp and it’s now infamous founder Alan Hawkins. Unraveling a ledger entry called ‘H-Fee’ ultimately saw Australia’s SFO equivalent, the now defunct National Crime Authority, assist with the Equiticorp investigation. While the SFO pursued Hawkins over Equiticorp, the NCA went after Australian based Elders IXL and it’s founder John Elliot over the ‘H-Fee’ entries. It was alleged that $67 million (NZ$76) in fraudulent foreign exchange transactions were made in two payments to Equiticorp to pay back Hawkins for his assistance in Elliot’s 1986 takeover battle for steelmaking giant BHP.
Two years early on 26 August 1988, setting in motion the second (A$27 million) of the ‘H-Fee’ payments, Elders IXL executive Ken Jarrett had met with Elders Merchant Finance manager Peter Camm and head of foreign exchange, Paul Richards in Wellington. The transaction was completed on 7 September 1988.
One week before been elected Prime Minister of New Zealand in November 2008, Key was asked about the truthfulness of this statement. He said it was 100% truthful, 100% correct and anything else was “a smear campaign by a desperate left”.
Is it a smear if an accusation is true?
When the NCA brought charges against Elliot and other Elders IXL executives, Peter Camm and Paul Richards were also facing fraud charges. In May 1991, now working at Bankers Trust, Key was asked to corroborate a part of Richards statement, namely a lunch he claimed that two had on 31 August 1988.
Richards was alleging it was the 31st and not the 26th that he and Camm had met with Jarrett that August. The trader was adamant of the date and told investigators he could recall the “lunch” and it’s “date”, as it was a “farewell” for “John Key” who was leaving the firm to go to Bankers Trust. Key agreed with Richards recollection of events and made a statement to the investigation reflecting that.
Except Key worked with New York based currency raider Andrew Krieger while they were both at Bankers Trust. This relationship has been confirmed by Key’s then boss, Gavin Walker. Walker has said of the relationship, that it was more or less in Key’s job description to look after Krieger, saying on Key’s first day with Bankers Trust he gave Key a list of their top clients, of which Krieger was one of them. Key himself has said he will never forget his first call with Krieger, where he asked Key about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.
For Key to have worked with Krieger, of which there is no doubt, then he would have had to have left Elders Merchant Finance in August 1987, and not 1988 as told to investigators, as Krieger resigned from Bankers Trust in February 1988. By June 1988 he had retired from the currency markets altogether, not returning to them until 1990. Readers may also recall Key told a reporter in 2007 he had indeed left Elders Merchant Finance in 1987 but called that a mistake when his 1991 Equiticorp statement surfaced a year later.
If Key wishes the New Zealand public to believe he was telling the truth to them in 2008 when as a wanna be prime minister, he assured them his 1991 Equiticorp statement was 100% true and correct, then he needs to explain to us how he, in late 1988, supposedly began working so closely with a world infamous currency trader who was no longer working in the currency markets. He also needs to explain how Walker, now Chair of the Board of Guardians of the New Zealand Superfund, could have his recollection so wrong as well.
What authorities need to know is, knowingly misleading a Serious Fraud Office investigation carries a maximum fine of $15,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. Not too mention the possibly criminal issue of Key and Richards conspiring to mislead an investigation.
While some might question whether or not Key lying in his youth has any bearing on the man today, the facts are some 55,000 Equiticorp shareholders were defrauded of over $400 million dollars.
If Key was willing to lie to protect those involved in facilitating some of that fraud, does he continue to lie today to protect himself?
In his book ‘Dirty Collars’ ex SFO head Charles Sturt says this of the vast powers bestowed on his department,
“while a person may be compelled to answer questions, these answers may only be used in evidence if the accused subsequently gives evidence inconsistent with their previous statements”
John Key, did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?
How you can help:
Share this post: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Google+
Reblog/Repost with permission
Follow and share this FB page: John Key did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?
Image credit: Bowalleyroad
Which of these currency traders turned politicians lied to a 1990’s joint Oz & NZ investigation into corporate fraud?
Which of these currency traders turned politicians lied to a 1990’s joint Australia & New Zealand investigation into corporate fraud?
More info in the links below:
Every time I read a story about Key lying I cringe. I cringe because the caliber of this man was there, ready for the exposing back in 2008.
One week before the election Key’s 1991 statement to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed corporate high-flier Equiticorp surfaced. Key had been interviewed by investigators and went on to corroborate the information an ex-colleague had given to the inquiry. This colleague/friend was facing fraud charges and Key’s statement, parts of which are now a matter of public record, confirmed the two had met for lunch on a particular date, and during that lunch meeting another event (of interest to the investigators) allegedly happened. Despite there been an issue with the date, but both men where steadfast they were remembering it correctly because the date was “Key’s farewell”. Key, they alleged was leaving one company for another and they were celebrating his last day.
However this timeline conflicts with media reports from February 2008 that discuss at length Key’s working relationship with infamous currency trader Andrew Krieger at this new firm. Key’s ex boss, Gavin Walker, discussed at length this relationship, as did Key himself, telling journalists’ he could recall his first phone call with Krieger, where the New York based trader asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and monetary supply. Walker told John Roughan, for his book “John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister”, he gave Key a list of top clients on Key’s first day, of which Krieger was one of them. Krieger himself though resigned from the firm some six months before Key told SFO investigators he started with the firm. Krieger, not only resigned from the firm six months before, he removed himself from the currency markets altogether two months before Key’s SFO statement alleges he started with Krieger’s firm.
What is most disturbing about all this is not that Labour’s Mike William’s was pilloried for trying to uncover information about the SFO Equiticorp investigation, accused of dirty politics, although that was pretty disgusting in itself; rather, instead of investigating the discrepancies in Key’s statement, his SFO statement was used as ‘proof’ he was telling the ‘truth’.
I ask you New Zealand, if Key’s SFO statement is not a fabrication, then his relationship with Andrew Krieger is, and if his relationship with Andrew Krieger is true, the his statement to the SFO a lie.
Either way, John Key is a liar. It’s hightime someone called him out on it.
Yours sincerely, Enough.
(Originally appeared as a comment on TheStandard)
I wrote yesterday about how well documented it is that Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key worked with currency trader Andrew Krieger while they were both at Bankers Trust in the mid 1980s.
A week before the 2008 election, a 1991 statement Key gave to the then new established Serious Fraud Office surfaced. In it we learned Key had told investigators he could recall a date crucial to the investigation because it was the same date as his last day with Elders Merchant Finance – he was going to Auckland to take a position with Bankers Trust – this is supposedly the time when he started with Krieger. Except this timeframe is an impossibility. Krieger resigned from Bankers Trust some six months before the date in question.
Key has either lied to media when they were doing background bios on him in 2008 about working with Krieger, or, and more likely, Key conspired to lie to the Serious Fraud Office to assist his ex Elders colleague Paul Richards who was facing fraud charges.
Gavin Walker who was Key’s boss at Bankers Trust, talked at length with media in 2008 about the relationship Key had with Krieger, going so far as to say managing that relationship was more or less in Key’s job description. Walker is now Chair of the Board of Guardians of the New Zealand Super Fund. Did he lie to media about Key working with Krieger? Because lying and misleading is the implication if Key maintains his SFO statement is true and correct – as he did in the lead up to the 2008 General Election.
As for Richards, he soon followed Key to Bankers Trust and may or may not have been still working there when he was first interviewed by the SFO in November 1990. If he was, did he and Key conspire to the mislead the SFO investigators? Constructing an elaborate back story of a ‘farewell lunch’ that never took place? The date of this lunch conflicted with the recollections of Richard’s co-accused. Richards is now head of UBS Head of FX Distribution in the US. He is a regular finance and foreign exchange commentator on television and news in the US and is a current and past (2012) member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve.
For the record, the investigation all those years ago was into the failed high flying company Equiticorp. Over 55,000 shareholders were defrauded of over $400 million, of which the would be New Zealand PM was willing to lie to investigators to protect his friend and colleague who had helped commit $67 million of that fraud.
A week before the 2008 election Key was asked about his statement and assured Radio New Zealand listens he did not lie to the SFO, maintaining his statement was 100% true and correct and claimed any talk of the contrary was nothing but left wing smears, attack politics from desperate opponents.
Today opposition leader, Labour’s Andrew Little called Key a liar over the PM’s knowledge of ex-Northland MP Mike Sabin’s police investigation – add another lie to Key’s growing pile of untruths and obfuscations but I think Key’s 1991 SFO statement may be his longest standing and most damaging lie yet.
This Twitter tweet from right-wing political commentator Matthew Hooton caught my eye yesterday. Not because the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key may be found out in another lie, rather it caught my eye because I’ve had similar “They can’t both be right” moments of clarity about our dear leader.
The most serious one involves a statement he gave to the Serious Fraud Office in May 1991 which surfaced in the lead up to the 2008 general election, and the reports of him working with the infamous currency trader Andrew Krieger.
In both the New Zealand Herald and the Sunday Star Times in 2008, and as recently as last year in John Roughan’s book ‘John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister’, we were told Key worked with the infamous Krieger when they were both traders at Bankers Trust – Key in the Auckland branch and Krieger with the parent branch in New York. Key himself said he will never forget their first phone call, saying Krieger asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and its monetary supply.
Key’s boss at the time Gavin Walker has said it was basically Key’s job description to manage the relationship with Krieger, giving Key names of top clients on his first day with the firm, one of which was the New Yorker. Key’s relationship with Krieger and other traders at Bankers Trust in New York were credited with turning the New Zealand branch into the number one forex trading room in the country.
It is this well documented working relationship between the two that rips some serious holes in Key’s (and that of ex-colleague, Paul Richard’s) 1990s statements to the SFO – namely the date of a ‘lunch’, the reason for it, and indeed, if there ever was one. Richards was facing fraud charges for his part in a series of fictitious foreign exchange transactions between high flying New Zealand company Equiticorp and Australia’s Elders IXL, the trades came to be known as the ‘H-Fee’ transactions.
In November 1990 Richards told the SFO investigators he could remember a ‘lunch’ on 31 August 1988 as it was his friend and colleague (John) Key’s farewell – Key was leaving Wellington based Elders Merchant Finance for a position with Bankers Trust in Auckland. The date for the lunch was in contention as it differed by some days from the recollections of Richard’s co-accused.
In May 1991 it was Key’s turn. He corroborated Richards’s evidence and assured investigators he too could recall the lunch they had had and events during it, telling the SFO he had resigned from Elders on 24 June 1988 and was immediately put on gardening leave. The lunch with Richards was on his last day, 31 August 1988, and he was leaving for Auckland immediately to start work with Bankers Trust.
However Krieger had resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988, some six months before Key and Richard’s alleged ‘farewell’ lunch. Is Key’s well documented working relationship with Krieger merely a fabrication? Although it would be pretty hard at this stage for even the most accomplished of spin doctors to claim Key did not work with him, though I’m sure some will try.
So I once again find myself asking – because, as Hooton so succinctly put it – “they both can’t be right”….
“John Key did you (conspire to) lie to the Serious Fraud Office?”
After only a few years in parliament, a relative newcomer to politics, John Philip Key became the leader of the National party of New Zealand. He was subsequently elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 8 November 2008 and three years later re-elected, today he is beginning his third term. Many questions about this man remain unanswered and this blog in part is in response to those questions.
In August 2007 he told the New Zealand Herald he had left Elders Merchant Finance in 1987. The following year documentation from a 1990s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into a failed group of companies revealed he had told investigators in 1991 that he had left Elders 1988.
He was soon telling media he simply had his dates wrong in the 2007 interview and that the date given in his statement to the SFO was correct. Our media commentators all agreed it was not a good look for a man who wanted to be Prime Minister, but they let the discrepancy go largely unchallenged.
My post “John Key did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office” asks the question they haven’t. John Key, did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?
The question will only go away if we let it
please like and share this Facebook page thank you:
May 1991 John Key is interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office
- He is asked to corroborate the statement of an ex colleague
- This colleague has told them he could be sure of a date, 31 August 1988, because he had allegedly gone to lunch with Key that day
- They both tell investigators this lunch occurred on Key’s last day at Elders Merchant Finance
- They can remember the date because it was Key’s ‘farewell lunch’
- He was leaving Elders to go to Bankers Trust
- Key resigns Elders Merchant Finance 24 June 1988
- His last day 31 August 1988 shares a farewell lunch with a colleague
- He starts at Bankers Trust sometime after 31 August 1988
However, we’ve been told
- On first day at Bankers Trust Key was given a list of premium clients
- On that list was Andrew Krieger, based at the company’s New York branch
- Key was responsible for managing the relationship with Krieger, it was part of his job description
- Krieger’s trades helped to turn the local Bankers Trust branch into the number one dealing room in the country
Here’s where the official timeline goes wrong
- Krieger resigned from Bankers Trust New York on 23 February 1988
- His resignation is well documented, appearing in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal at the time as well as discussed later in Krieger’s book
- Krieger quickly bores of currency trading and leaves the currency markets in June 1988; not returning to them until late 1990
- Krieger’s resignation is some six months before the date Key tells investigators is his last day at Elders; Krieger’s departure from the currency markets is two months prior
- Resigns Elders sometime between June 24–September 15 1988
- Immediately leaves the firm but is subject to ‘Gardening Leave’
- During this period he collaborates with the firms New York office in some heavy duty currency speculation
- 70% of Bankers Trusts’ currency trades were done in overseas markets, hence Key is able to carry on trading during his gardening leave
- Gardening leave ends sometime early 1988 and Key’s official start with Bankers Trust begins
If Key told SFO he started working at a company in 1988, but evidence suggests it was 1987, then he has lied to them and New Zealanders’ deserve an explanation. Read more here: John Key did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?
Click to view:
2008 30 October Radio New Zealand: Kathryn Ryan(Nine to Noon) interviews John Key about H-Fee a week before 2008 General Election