After a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation, Mark James
Whelan has pleaded guilty to 66 charges in the Auckland
District Court for his principal role in defrauding listed,
Dunedin-based vehicle finance company Motor Trade Finances
Ltd of almost $5 million.
In mid-September last year, 110 fraud charges were laid by
the SFO against seven people for obtaining by deception loans
worth a total $4.9 million.
The fraud was initially uncovered through regular auditing
processes by parent MTF, and then passed to the SFO.
Mr Whelan (40), formerly of Auckland, operating as an MTF
franchise, faced 25 individual charges and 41 joint charges
under the Crimes Act, and six other people also faced Crimes
Act charges in the Auckland District Court.
In September, Mr Whelan was accused of obtaining loans
totalling $4.9 million, in the names of family and friends,
using nonexistent assets as security, and then using them for
Three of Mr Whelan's co-accused have already pleaded guilty
to related SFO charges, and three other co-accused face trial
in March 2013.
MTF managing director Angus Bradshaw was not available for
comment yesterday, but has said full provision was made for
the ''expected loss in previous years'' and a full disclosure
to shareholders would be made. In its recent annual report,
MTF said bad debt written off was up 40%, from $1 million in
2011 to $1.4 million, but what, if any, was related to Mr
Whelan's fraud was unclear.
SFO spokeswoman Andrea Linton said Mr Whelan obtained loans
totalling $4.9 million and used them for personal gain,
including the purchase of land, servicing of debts, and
investing in a futures trading scheme, Global Futures Trading
• Mr Whelan is yet to face separate charges in relation to
his involvement with Global Futures Trading and Derivatek New