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Ex-Bunnings manager admits fraud

Friday 1 Feb 2013 4:01 p.m.

Bunnings' former commercial property manager in New Zealand has pleaded guilty to receiving secret commissions for referring business to an insurance broker.

Christopher David Green, 66, appeared in Auckland District Court on Friday on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO says Green's role for the Australian-based hardware chain included ensuring its premises around New Zealand were appropriately insured.

Between 2003 and 2010, Green kept secret commissions totalling about $142,000 for referring business to Herbert Insurance Group (HIG), of which Bunnings was a client.

"His employer was consequently over-charged by a sum of approximately $220,000 for that insurance," acting SFO chief executive Simon McArley said in a statement.

"Everyone is a loser when commercial corruption, in the form of kick-backs, occurs. It distorts the market causing otherwise competitive companies to lose business and results in higher prices for consumers.

"Our levels of corruption are seen to be relatively low in New Zealand, but there is still further work to be done to stamp out what is an insidious practice.

The owner of HIG, which was put into liquidation in 2011 owing $3.1 million to insurers, Grant Malcolm Herbert is due to stand trial on other charges brought by the SFO.

NZN

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