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SFO to continue Hubbard investigation

Published: 1:32PM Saturday July 31, 2010 Source: NZPA

Investors in several funds associated with South Canterbury businessman Allan Hubbard will be interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after it decided there was enough evidence to continue its investigation.

The government last month appointed statutory managers to Aorangi Securities Ltd and the business interests of Hubbard and his wife Jean following a complaint by an Aorangi investor.

The SFO also decided to investigate, and its director Adam Feeley said to date it had found enough evidence to continue investigating, the Timaru Herald reported.

Feeley said investors would be interviewed, after which a wider group of people would be questioned. The Hubbards would be approached once all evidence had been obtained.

Aorangi Securities, along with several trusts and investment companies linked to Hubbard, were placed in statutory management by the Government on June 20.

The move was greeted with disbelief in Timaru, where Hubbard, 82, is regarded as a pillar of the local community.

Hubbard has called for a commission of inquiry and has also hired law firm Russell McVeagh.

His supporters include prominent Taupo rescue helicopter pilot John Funnell and former Gore mayor Ian Tulloch.

Statutory managers Richard Simpson and Trevor Thornton of Grant Thornton have said investors' assets and investments could remain frozen for some months.

South Canterbury Finance, a company associated with Hubbard, is not in statutory management.