SFO lays new charges against property investor

The Serious Fraud Office has laid new charges against Auckland-based property investor Glenn William Cooper after a previous investigation failed.

Mr Cooper faces six charges of dishonestly using a document.

An initial complaint was made against him in 2010, but the file was closed in June 2011 because there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

However, in October 2011 new complaints emerged about Mr Cooper and a fresh investigation was launched.

The SFO says its latest investigation focused on six property transactions between November 2, 2010, and September 25, 2011.

About $834,000 is involved.

Mr Cooper bought properties at mortgagee sale and sold them on at an increased price, the SFO says.

"Investigators believe that he usually targeted investors who were under pressure to consolidate debt.

"All of the transactions that are the subject of the charges involve members of one family," the SFO says.

It accuses Mr Cooper of submitting to the banks false sale and purchase agreements which concealed his interest in the properties, and submitting misleading loan application forms.

SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley says while the money involved is relatively small, "the conduct has had a serious effect on the community".

"The SFO believes there is strong public interest in focusing its resources on vulnerable investors."

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Good to see that the serious fraud office is remaining vigilant after the departure of it's chief executive.

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