22 Nov 2010

Fraud charges laid over North Shore 'corruption' case

3:37 pm on 22 November 2010

The Serious Fraud Office has charged two men over what it calls a corruption case involving hundreds of thousands of dollars at the former North Shore City Council in Auckland.

It says Hemant Kumar Maharaj, who worked at the council, and Suresh Din, face more than 300 charges.

They allegedly used invoices dishonestly to take more than $800,000 from the local body.

The pair face a variety of counts, including of using a document to defraud, and dishonestly using a document, during a 10-year period up to the end of 2009.

Mr Maharaj is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Serious Fraud Office general manager of fraud and corruption Nick Paterson says it accuses a public official misusing his position for personal gain.

Mr Paterson says it underlines the need for local government bodies to have thorough audit processes to prevent fraud or detect it at an early stage.

North Shore City Council has become part of Auckland Council.