12 Feb 2013

White collar crime overlooked

7:09 am on 12 February 2013

A man who helped uncover the largest financial fraud in US history, says white collar crime is New Zealand is being overlooked to the detriment of the economy and investors.

Harry Markopolos uncovered evidence over nine years that Bernie Madoff's wealth management business was actually a massive Ponzi scheme.

He's in New Zealand for an economic crime seminar run by the Serious Fraud office.

Mr Markopolos says the budget for fighting white collar crime around the world is miniscule, calling it a pimple on elephant.

And he says New Zealand is no exception. Mr Markopolos says most police resources go into fighting blue collar crime.

Acting SFO head Simon McCarley said resources are tight but his office is trying to be more efficient with its budget.

He said the SFO aims to work more closely with other countries to fight financial crime.