Actions risked New Zealand’s reputation

By on June 9, 2017

Simon William Hall, a former employee of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (F&P Healthcare), has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court today for receiving secret commissions from Middle Eastern clients of F&P Healthcare and for deceiving his employer.

Mr Hall has been sentenced to eight months of home detention.

Mr Hall pleaded guilty in March to one Crimes Act charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’ and two charges under Section 8 of the Secret Commissions Act laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Mr Hall committed the offences while in his role as an Area Manager based in Auckland and dealing with companies in the Middle Eastern market. The charges related to payments received by Mr Hall for approving a Saudi Arabian company as a distributor of F&P Healthcare products and a single payment from a Jordanian company which also became a distributor. F&P Healthcare had no knowledge that Mr Hall received those payments. In addition to those offences, Mr Hall made false representations to F&P Healthcare regarding commission payments for installations of products that never took place.

Mr Hall received approximately USD $213,000 in payments.

SFO Director, Julie Read said, “Mr Hall let down his employer and potentially tarnished the reputation of how New Zealand entities do business with overseas operators. New Zealand is known for corruption free business practices and the SFO will continue to act in cases like this to maintain that reputation.”

Issued by

Andrea Linton
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

BACKGROUND TO INVESTIGATION

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of products and systems for the use in respiratory care, acute care and the treatment of sleep apnoea.

Simon Hall was employed by F&P Healthcare in February 2002 and was dismissed in December 2014. Shortly after, F&P Healthcare referred allegations regarding Mr Hall, to the Serious Fraud Office.

CRIMES ACT OFFENCES

Section 240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
(1) Every one is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception who, by any deception and without claim of right,-
(a) obtains ownership or possession of, or control over, any property, or any privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly; or
(b) in incurring any debt or liability, obtains credit; or
(c) induces or causes any other person to deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse, destroy, or alter any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage; or
(d) causes loss to any other person.

(1A) Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who, without reasonable excuse, sells, transfers, or otherwise makes available any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage knowing that, by deception and without claim of right, the document or thing was, or was caused to be, delivered, executed, made, accepted, endorsed, or altered.

(2) In this section, deception means-
(a) a false representation, whether oral, documentary, or by conduct, where the person making the representation intends to deceive any other person and-
(i) knows that it is false in a material particular; or
(ii) is reckless as to whether it is false in a material particular; or
(b) an omission to disclose a material particular, with intent to deceive any person, in circumstances where there is a duty to disclose it; or
(c) a fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem used with intent to deceive any person.

SECRET COMMISSIONS ACT OFFENCES

Section 8 Receiving secret reward for procuring contracts an offence
(1) Every person is guilty of an offence who advises any person to enter into a contract with a third person and receives or agrees to receive from that third person, without the knowledge and consent of the person so advised, any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward for the giving of that advice or the procuring of that contract, unless the person giving that advice himself acts as the agent of the third person in entering into the contract, or is to the knowledge of the person so advised the agent of that third person.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to advise another person to enter into a contract if he makes to that other person any statement or suggestion with intent to induce him to enter into the contract.

About The Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act.

The SFO is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption.

The presence of an agency dedicated to white collar crime is integral to New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity, fair-mindedness and low levels of corruption.

This work contributes to a productive and prosperous New Zealand and the SFO’s collaborative efforts with international partners also reduce the serious harm that corrupt business practices do to the global economy.

The SFO has three operational teams; the Evaluation and Intelligence team along with two investigative teams.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”

Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”

In considering whether a matter involves serious or complex fraud, the Director may, among other things, have regard to:

  • the suspected nature and consequences of the fraud and/or;
  • the suspected scale of the fraud and/or;
  • the legal, factual and evidential complexity of the matter and/or;
  • any relevant public interest considerations.

The SFO’s Annual Report 2016 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2014-2018 sets out the SFO’s strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at www.sfo.govt.nz

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