22 Nov 2022

Crimes NZ: NZ's biggest ever fraud

From Afternoons, 2:30 pm on 22 November 2022

Today on Crimes NZ we're going back nearly 60 years to investigate one of New Zealand's biggest fraudsters.

In 1966, a Salvation Army captain was steering a barge up Waitematā Harbour when he spotted a mysterious suitcase floating in the water.

It turned out to contain documents from Leidrum and Hartnell, a company that had recently opened a franchise in Auckland to sell cosmetics.

Problem was, the cosmetics never arrived, and the franchisee, Robert Gardner, had already left the country with a bag full of cash.

Joseph Sheehan BEM is a retired JP and former national head of the NZ Police's intelligence section, and was the detective sergeant put on to Gardner back in the 60s. He talks to Jesse about the extraordinary case.

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Photo: 123rf

Signal Fires book cover

Signal Fires book cover Photo: penguinrandomhouse.com

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