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Kiwi in America's Cup spy scandal

Published: 8:50AM Thursday October 25, 2001

A former member of Team New Zealand is believed to be involved in a multi-million dollar court case with Seattle-based America's Cup syndicate OneWorld Challenge.

The man, who is being referred to in court documents as John Doe, is accused of trying to sell One World design and crew information to rival syndicate Oracle, which is led by New Zealander Chris Dickson.

The San Francisco-based Oracle refused to buy the information and informed One World Challenge.

OneWorld says the information was valued at $US2.5 million ($NZ5.9 million) and included details about hull design, team techniques, team member eligibility and construction.

John Doe left the OneWorld syndicate earlier this year.

Members of the Oracle syndicate provided the court with sworn statements, which will be filed in a matter of days, at which point the crew member's identity will be revealed.

ONE News yachting correspondent Martin Tasker has been told the man was once with Team New Zealand but was not a sailor.

Tasker says the man was instrumental in helping set up OneWorld and getting Team New Zealand crew members to defect to Seattle.

Oracle is backed by Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp, while the OneWorld syndicate, based in Seattle, is led by telecommunications mogul Craig McCaw.

Last year, a number of Team New Zealand team-members - including Craig Monk, Jeremy Scantlebury and Andrew Taylor - left the Kiwi syndicate for the OneWorld challenge.

Most of the syndicates are now in Auckland, testing and training on the Hauraki Gulf.

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