3 Sep 2013

Corruption charges over secret transactions

3:02 pm on 3 September 2013

A former wine executive is facing corruption charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office.

The former New Zealand Wine Company chief executive Peter John Scutts, 58, appeared in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday.

He is accused of 16 Crimes Act charges of dishonestly using a document and one Secret Commissions Act charge of receiving secret reward for procuring contracts.

The Serious Fraud Office claims that in 2011 Mr Scutts carried out transactions in which he received about $64,000 in fees which the company's board knew nothing about.

The SFO says New Zealand has a very good international reputation for having low levels of corruption, so it is important to act as quickly as possible in such cases.

Its investigation was completed in eight weeks.

In a written statement from lawyers, Mr Scutts says he will be defending all charges, and expects to be acquitted.