Tag Archives: Elders

Time to go John

” …a sense in which Andrew Little is responsible is that he has been part of a campaign of deliberate lies… It is very sad that an opposition party would [behave] so dishonestly…”

Given John Key’s entire tenure as prime minister is built on lies, this from Matthew Hooton over at The Dimpost’s comment section is somewhat ironic, and insulting.

In October 2008 as the then opposition leader, Key maintained his 1991 statement to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed corporate high-flier Equiticorp and it’s fraudulent H-Fee transactions with Australian corporate giant Elders IXL, was accurate. But his well documented relationship with infamous New York based Bankers Trust currency raider Andrew Krieger says otherwise.

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We know Key worked with Krieger, this was confirmed in great detail by hi Bankers Trust boss Gavin Walker* in February 2008. Telling media Key knew everything Krieger was executing across the Auckland Bankers Trust’s branch’s trading desk; indeed looking after Krieger was part of Key’s job description. Key himself has said he can still recall his first phone call with the trader, saying Krieger asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.

We can also be sure Key was at his previous firm Elders Merchant Finance on 17 August 1987, as he filmed for Close Up’s “Big Dealers” episode on that day. What we know of Krieger is that he resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988. His resignation is well documented, having been reported in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and later in Krieger’s own book, ‘The Money Bazaar’.

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To have worked with Krieger, which there is no doubt, Key needed to have left Elders Merchant Finance to start with Bankers Trust sometime after 17 August 1987 but before Krieger’s 23 February 1988 resignation date.

Therefore Key’s statement to the Equiticorp inquiry in which he told investigators he left  Elders Merchant Finance for Bankers Trust on 31 August 1988 can only be a lie. His insistence to voters in October 2008 that his statement was entirely accurate can only be another one.

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Lying to an SFO investigation carries a maximum $15,000 fine or twelve months jail, more for conspiring to mislead, and I think any investigation would find that’s exactly what Key (and his ex-Elders colleague Paul Richards**) did.

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Time to go John.

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* Gavin Walker, current Chair, Board of Guardians of New Zealand Superfund
** Paul Richards, current head of Foreign Exchange Distribution, UBS, North America

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“Except white collar crime, if it’s white collar crime then I’m probably comfortable with it”

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Ironic.

Key stating he’s the one standing up for the victims of crime. Like he did when he lied to the 1990’s Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed corporate Equiticorp? Whose execs defrauded 55,000 shareholders of over $400 million? An investigation he was happy to mislead to help out his friend who was facing charges for facilitating $40 odd million of that fraud?

Yeah victims, Key rarely cares about them.  

“Except white collar crime, if it’s white collar crime then I’m probably comfortable with it”

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?

Jon Key Malcolm Turnbull Currency Traders turned Politicans

More info in the links below:

“Where the bloody hell are you?” Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

John Key did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?

“Where the bloody hell are you?” Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Would Australia’s political pundits be as  ready to embrace their brand new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unflinching admiration of  New Zealand prime minister John Key if they were aware that the subject of Turnbull’s affection had mislead an early 90’s investigation by their National Crime Authority (NCA) into the now infamous ‘H-Fee’ transactions? So what do you think? Would the tran-Tasman bromance still be welcomed despite it? Or would Australia’s journalists and commentators not be distracted by the flush of first love and actually call for the New Zealand prime minister to explain himself? Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Key & Turnbull

When Key’s 1991 statement to the H-Fee investigations surfaced a week before he was elected prime minister in November 2008, the document was largely accepted as ‘truth’ – even to the point that one highly regarded New Zealand journalist used the statement as ‘evidence’ of Key telling the ‘truth’ about one of his more infamous pre-PM brain-fades. In 2007 Key had tried to front foot questions by New Zealand Labour party politicians about his involvement in the H-Fee investigation, and in doing so had told a journalist that the ‘Labour hounds had nothing on him because he had left EMF in 1987 long before any of the H-Fees we’re decided’. When his statement came to light and it showed Key had actually told investigators he had left EMF in 1988, not 1987 as he’d told this reporter, Key confidently reassured waiting media that what he told investigators in 1991 was the real year and if they were to hear anything to the contrary, then it was nothing but a left-wing smear campaign by a desperate Helen Clark  and her then incumbent Labour government colleagues.

At the same time as Australia’s (now defunct) NCA were investigating the complex H-Fee foreign exchange movements between Australia’s corporate high-flier Elders IXL and New Zealand’s own Equiticorp, New Zealand’s newly established Serious Fraud Office (SFO) were trying to unravel this and many other dodgy movements of money into the hands of Equiticorp founder Alan Hawkins. The two investigating bodies worked closely together sharing information, running separate prosecutions within their own jurisdictions, with the NCA bringing a case in Australia against some of the offending parties over there and in 1992 in New Zealand the SFO’s brought successful charges against Hawkins. He was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison.

Key became involved in the H-Fee investigations when an ex-colleague of his Paul Richards, now head of forex at UBS in United States, was facing fraud charges for his part in one of the transactions. He had helped to facilitate some of the foreign exchange movements necessary to hide these transactions while working for Elders IXL’s New Zealand based subsidiary Elders Merchant Finance (EMF) in Wellington in 1988. Richards was only ever a bit player and eventually was given immunity from charges in return for giving evidence for the NCA’s prosecution across the ditch. Funnily enough a defense lawyer in that court case alleged Richards and Key’s statements to the investigation we’re completely made up, nothing but utter fabrication. What did they know that we don’t?

Richards who was first interviewed in November 1990, told investigators he could supposedly recall an event from 31 August 1988 because he and an ex-colleague ‘John Key’ had had a lunch that day. He could recall the exact date of the lunch because it allegedly marked his colleague’s last day with the firm. This date was at odds with the evidence of Richards’ boss Peter Camm and Elders IXL executive from Australia, Ken Jarrett, both of whom were also under investigation. Allegedly Richard’s was called away from the ‘lunch’ to meet with these two men. Jarrett had supposedly flown to New Zealand from Australia that morning.

In May 1991 Key was asked to corroborate Richards’ evidence. He told investigators he had given notice on 24 June 1988 and then two months later on 31 August the two colleagues were celebrating his final day, he was leaving EMF to head a newly established forex exchange department at rival finance company Bankers Trust. He confirmed Richards’ evidence about their lunch including how Richards had received a call and had to return immediately to the office. About 45 minutes later Richards allegedly returned, a little shaken but he told Key he could not go into detail other than to say he had just had a very strange meeting with his two co-accused. Allegedly the men continued their lunch and supposedly never discussed the strange turn of events again.

Now at Bankers Trust we were told Key worked with infamous American currency raider Andrew Krieger who was based at the company’s New York branch at the time. This relationship we we’re told was highly lucrative for the New Zealand branch and had soon turned the Auckland dealing room into the number one forex dealing room in the country. Reports about the success of this relationship worked to cement the then Leader of the Opposition’s backstory as a ‘state house kid made good’, a currency trader of some merit, a man at the top of his game, right in the thick of it with the world’s most notorious and infamous best. Key’s ex boss Gavin Walker, now chair of the Board of Guardians of the New Zealand Superfund, told media Key was responsible for the Auckland branch’s relationship with Krieger, it was in his job description to look after him and that as far as Walker was aware Key knew everything that Kreiger was executing across the local branch’s trading desk. Key himself told media he would never forget his first phone call with Krieger as the currency legend asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.

Except Key working with Krieger means there is no time in 1988 that Key could have been working with Richards at EMF – it is simply not possible. Kreiger resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988 – some six months before the 31 August date Richards had told investigators, and later corroborated by Key, as been Key’s last day before he joined Bankers Trust in Auckland. Krieger’s resignation is well documented. He had disputed the amount of bonus he was due from his 1987 trades and promptly resigned leaving the company within a matter of weeks. Upon leaving Krieger spent one month on holiday before returning to the forex markets with another company. By June 1988 though he was disillusioned with currency trading and left the currency markets altogether, not only the markets but America itself, to study Sanskrit in India. He did not return to the currency markets until sometime in 1990. Even if Key’s statement to the H-Fee investigation is believed, it does not explain how he could trade millions upon millions of dollars of currency with someone that helped turn his trading room into the best in the country, when that person had left the currency markets entirely a couple of months earlier?

Did Key lie to the H-Fee investigations? More than likely. Will Aussie commentators think less of him for it? Hopefully. Not sure if Prime Minister Turnbull will, but no one will ever know unless the New Zealand media start asking Key to explain himself. Or could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s media so far hasn’t?

In his book ‘Dirty Collars’ ex SFO head Charles Sturt says this of the vast powers bestowed upon 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”

So c’mon on journos, “where the bloody hell are you?”

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2008 6 March ALT TV: Oliver Driver (Lets Be Frank) interview where Key talks about working with Andrew Krieger at Bankers Trust

2008 30 October Radio New Zealand: Kathryn Ryan(Nine to Noon) interviews John Key about H-Fee a week before 2008 General Election

Legal scholar & author Frank Partnoy interviewed Andrew Krieger for the book “Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets” and dedicated a chapter to him. The intro & chapter featuring Krieger ‘Patient Zero’ can be read free on Amazon Kindle +PC. Click “Read first chapter free” to view.

Please share this page with others, thank you.

Either way, John Key is a liar. It’s hightime someone called him out on it.

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)

Key’s Impossible Timeline

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

Official timeline

  • 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

Proposed timeline/events

  • 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?

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Did John Key lie to SFO? Alternate time line for 1987 – 1988

Click to view:

John Key Alternative Time Line 1987 – 1988

2008 6 March ALT TV: Oliver Driver (Lets Be Frank) interview where Key talks about working with Andrew Krieger at Bankers Trust

2008 30 October Radio New Zealand: Kathryn Ryan(Nine to Noon) interviews John Key about H-Fee a week before 2008 General Election

See background story here.