Citifleet vehicles in the Dunedin City Council's Moray Pl, Dunedin, car park yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A Dunedin family and at least one of the city's car
dealerships have been linked to an investigation into an
alleged $1 million fraud within the Dunedin City Council's
Citifleet department, it has been confirmed.
The Otago Daily Times has been told about 25 of the
vehicles missing from Citifleet appeared to have been sold to
members of a Dunedin family, unconnected to the council or to
any city motor vehicle dealership, before being on-sold.
Much of the sales history has been identified by staff from
independent financial consultant Deloitte, which is examining
transactions while investigating alleged fraud for the
The sale of vehicles is believed to have continued for more
than a decade, with up to 100 vehicles understood to have
disappeared over that period.
Sale proceeds amounting to about $1 million are believed to
have been pocketed, up from a ''six-figure sum'' estimate
Allegations of ''backhanders'' are also being investigated,
the ODT has been told.
Transactions with Dunedin City Motors are being examined as
part of the inquiry, it has been confirmed.
The company is understood to have sold new vehicles to the
council and to have bought used vehicles from the DCC, as
part of Citifleet's regular vehicle renewal programme.
It appears at least some of the proceeds from the sale of
used council vehicles to the dealer had not been included in
the council's accounts, the ODT understands.
Dunedin City Motors dealer principal Robert Bain, contacted
by the ODT, yesterday confirmed his company was
''assisting Deloitte in their inquiries''.
He denied any improper conduct by his company's staff.
Details of five transactions over an eight-year period had
been provided, following a request from Deloitte's staff, he
Mr Bain declined to elaborate when asked for details.
''I am not aware of specifics, but I understand Deloitte are
making inquiries with other [car] dealers,'' he added.
Allegations a handful of car dealers had been favoured over
others in the city are being investigated, as the bulk of
council vehicles were supplied by one or two companies while
others were not invited to tender for the work.
The actions of past and present council staff - dating back
more than a decade - are also understood to be under the
microscope, as Deloitte scrutinises the failure of external
and internal audits and processes within the council, it has
The ODT understands that includes, but is not limited
to, the actions of Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop, who
died suddenly on May 21.
Members of the Dunedin family believed to have purchased and
on-sold about 25 of the Citifleet vehicles were not related
to Mr Bachop.
They are believed to have kept a share of the proceeds after
buying Citifleet vehicles and on-selling them to third
parties, the ODT understands.
Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose would not be drawn on
details of the complex investigation yesterday, or the
identity of those involved, saying Deloitte needed to finish
its work first.
''It's the Deloitte report that's going to help me
distinguish rumour from where we have evidence.''
The Deloitte report is expected to be completed by
mid-August, and Dunedin police, while being kept informed,
are not yet involved.
Deloitte partner Kyle Cameron declined to comment when
contacted last night.