The man who blew the whistle on American Bernie Madoff, and two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators of massive U.S. insider trading activities, are heading to New Zealand.
They will be attending two inaugural events being hosted by the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in February 2013 – one of those, open to the business community.
Simon McArley, Acting Chief Executive of the SFO, announced the office is hosting an Economic Crime Seminar and also the inaugural international Economic Crime Agency Network (ECAN) conference. New Zealand’s banking, legal, accounting, fraud prevention, law enforcement and other interested business communities will be welcome at the Economic Crime Seminar in Auckland on 11 February.
The ECAN conference on 12 and 13 February is for members only. It will be attended by delegates from international agencies such as the FBI, the UK Serious Fraud Office, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the European Commission Anti-Fraud Office.
McArley says when New Zealand was asked to host the ECAN conference, the team saw it as an exciting opportunity to increase the understanding of the drivers and impact of economic crime in New Zealand and internationally.“We are fortunate to have secured a range of very experienced overseas experts and we were keen for New Zealand business people to be able to hear them too. Thanks to Wynyard Group and Deloitte we have been able to share them through the seminar,” he says.
Harry Markopolos, uncovered evidence over nine years that Bernie Madoff‘s wealth management business was actually a massive Ponzi scheme, the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Madoff waseventually sentenced to 150 years in prison. Markopolos’ book on the Madoff fraud, ‘No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller’, was published in 2010.
“Over the past two years the SFO has dealt with six actual or alleged Ponzi schemes. While those have been of varying sizes and impact, the total losses involved will likely exceed $500 million. The presentation from Harry Markopolos is timely given the recent conviction in the B’On case and the suspicions around Ross Asset Management,” McArley says.
The FBI agents, James Barnacle and Francine Gross, were both involved in investigations into the insider trading activities of Raj Rajaratnam and Rajat Gupta. They will also talk about investigating the US$7 billion Ponzi scheme operated by R. Allen Stanford.
The fourth international speaker, Commander Stephen Head from the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, will describe recent changes to the structure of fraud investigations in the UK following the National Fraud Indicator report which measured the level of economic crime.
ECAN has been established for agencies involved primarily with the investigation and prosecution of economic crime to benefit from an international network.
McArley says, “With the increasing globalisation of fraud it is important for those agencies investigating serious fraud and corruption to have strong international relationships to enable us to investigate and prosecute cross-border criminal activity. ECAN will mean improved international cooperation, which provides quicker and better results for those affected by fraud.”