” …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.
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’.
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.
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.
Time to go John.
* Gavin Walker, current Chair, Board of Guardians of New Zealand Superfund
** Paul Richards, current head of Foreign Exchange Distribution, UBS, North America
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?
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Would Turnbull and Obama think as positively about Key if they knew Key had lied to an early ’90s trans-Tasman investigation into high flying corporates on both our shores?
Key was interviewed by Australia’s (now defunct) National Crime Authority and New Zealand’s (then newly established) Serious Fraud Office in May 1991. The evidence he gave to the investigation included a dated timeline for him leaving one job for another. However with a little light shed on it, it’s easy to see this timeline is an impossibility.
In 2008, one week before that year’s general election and he was elected prime minister for the first time, Key’s statement to the investigation surfaced. He told curious media his statement was “100% correct” and any talk to the contrary was nothing but a smear campaign by a “desperate left.”
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?
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)
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
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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?