Published 16 October 2012
Shane Wenzel (51), described as a business coach, was found guilty in the Manukau District Court today on 8 charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office and not guilty on 12 charges. He’ll be sentenced on Friday 23 November.
He faced 17 charges of using documents dishonestly with intent to obtain a pecuniary advantage, 2 of using a document with intent to defraud (for offences occurring before October 2003) and one of failing to comply with a notice issued by the Serious Fraud Office.
The SFO brought the last charge under section 45 of the Serious Fraud Office Act, which relates to obstruction of an investigation. On that, Mr Wenzel was found not guilty.
The other charges related to dishonest loan applications arising from the sale & purchase of properties in South Auckland during the significant upturn in the property market between May 2003-October 2004 (when he was bankrupt).
Acting SFO chief executive Simon McArley said: “Shane Wenzel encouraged loan applicants to submit false documents to lenders. It is important that offenders be brought to account for such conduct.”
Mr Wenzel came to New Zealand as a crane driver in the 1980s. After being bankrupted in 2001, he took to mentoring and acting as a business coach and, in the past 4 years, adopted the name Taane Rakau and membership of the Ngai Tupango hapu. He was discharged from bankruptcy on 17 September 2010.
Mr Wenzel was convicted on 23 December 2009 on 36 fraud charges and was sentenced on 10 February 2010 to 5 years’ jail. The start of his 5-year ban as a director started the day of sentencing, 10 February 2010. However, on 3 November 2010 the Court of Appeal quashed all the convictions and ordered a retrial. The ban as a company director is no longer registered on the Companies Office website.
The Serious Fraud Office said Mr Wenzel encouraged individuals to apply for mortgage finance based on inflated (false) purchases prices. On occasions, false letters of employment & false statements of income for the borrower were used.
Under the Crimes Act charges, Mr Wenzel faces a jail term of up to 7 years.
U: The names behind the action, the week to 20 June 2010, part 1, Wenzel associate Bongard bankrupt
26 August 2009: Council demolishes Tane Rakau HQ
U: The names behind the action, the week to 8 June 2008, part 2: Doughty’s Mobile Property Sales renamed, wound up, and Wenzel (as Tane Rako) fails with Maori sovereignty claim
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Attribution: SFO release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.