Jared Savage

Life of Riley, but no money for the little people

Jared Savage shows why he led the losers in our recent “Who do you trust?” poll on media personalities *)

The Herald revealed the internet tycoon’s company Megastuff, set up to run his mansion, owed 80 creditors between $69 and $133,916 since his arrest in January 2012.

Ah that Herald. ¬†Always revealing things. ¬†Or doing “investigations” where they take other people’s work and slap their own label on it. ¬† It is so childish.

But I digress.

The Herald, via Savage, are reporting today that Kim Dotcom hasn’t been paying his bills because he had no money since the raid.

And yet, Dotcom’s had enough money to sponsor Rhythm n Vines, do a huge push on his Good Times vanity project and now is reported to be spending several millions on launching his Internet Party.

Dotcom is still pushing the line that he simply didn’t have enough money because of the raids.

This is in spite of all signs to the contrary. ¬† ¬†¬† Read more »

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation.¬†Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »

Dodgy CV Cheat run out of town

Good news, isn’t it? ¬†Sadly, it’s not David Cunliffe, but CV embellisher extraordinaire¬†Michael Vukcevic.

It seems that the difference to keeping your job and losing it comes down to the quality of spin doctor you employ. ¬†Brown and Cunliffe got their money’s worth, whereas Vukcevic got Vukd.

The Deputy Chairman of the NZ Middle East Business Council, Mr Stewart Germann, announced today that the Council had accepted the resignation of Michael Vukcevic from its Executive Committee effective immediately.

Mr Germann said he would take over as Chairman until the next AGM.¬†‚ÄúMr Vukcevic has been an energetic and committed participant of the Council during¬†his more than six years of involvement, and was in fact a founding member of the¬†organisation,‚ÄĚ he said. ¬† Read more »

Dodgy CV leads to shameless spin which leads to more questions

Yesterday both major news outlets ran stories of a dodgy CV used by the former CEO of Baldwins, Michael Vukcevic. It is hugely ironic too that Michael Vukcevic was previously head of anti-corruption group Transparency International.

Phil Kitchin at the Dompost wrote:

The chairman of an influential business council with close links to the Government’s bid for a Middle East free trade agreement is a CV fraudster.

Fairfax NZ can reveal that Michael Vukcevic – head of the Auckland-based Middle East Business Council – falsely claimed to have a law degree from Victoria University.

Mr Vukcevic was also a director of anti-corruption agency Transparency International when he lied in his successful bid for the top New Zealand job at multinational law and patent firm, Baldwins.

The fraud will embarrass the firm, which was last year a finalist in the New Zealand Law Awards for a second year in a row.

It will also embarrass the Government because of the ties between the council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NZ Trade and Enterprise.

As chair of the Middle East council, Mr Vukcevic rubs shoulders with powerful figures from MFAT – including Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

The council’s current executive includes former Young Nats president Daniel Fielding, and the vice-chairman is Auckland lawyer Stewart Germann. Former National Party president Michelle Boag advises the executive.¬† Read more »

Less than honest from the Herald

Yesterday the NZ Herald played catch up on Kim Dotcom and there was reasonably good article mostly by Jared Savage with some turd polishing from The Gurnard.

There was one bit that didn’t ring true given what I know about what goes on at the Dotcom Mansion on a day to day basis.

Creditors spoken to by the Herald have pointed to apparent recent indulgences by Dotcom as raising frustration with bills for work at the mansion still unpaid.

West City Electrical’s Neil Stratful said he was among many creditors who had not been paid.

Court documents show that amount was $52,027 as of February, 2012.

“Kim has said once this is all dealt with he is wanting to pay every cent to everyone he owes money to. I think morally he wants to put everyone right.”

Dotcom’s lawyers put a letter from Mr Stratful before the court in 2012, when seeking funds to be released, in which the electrician said he owed money to suppliers for materials used during work at the mansion.

“We now find ourselves in a very uncomfortable situation with creditors to me sending me final demand letters asking for payment.”

Mr Stratful said yesterday: “He doesn’t want to be shareholder of a company that doesn’t pay its bills. He doesn’t want to fold and let it fall over.”

I thought the bold sentence was incongruent with his claims to be a disgruntled creditor. Most people who are owed money do not use the first name of the ratbag who owes them money then produce nice statements about morals when you are talking about scum who haven’t paid you.

So I did a bit of digging. ¬† Read more »

Herald investigation reveals…MPs follow the rules

I’m not kidding, they have splashed all over the paper about how…shock, horror…MPs have followed the rules.

Once again the Herald applies their own moral judgement and attacks MPs for following the rules.

Several Government politicians are using a loophole to own properties which are not declared and claim up to $78,000 in taxpayer-funded subsidies each year to pay off the mortgage.

A Herald investigation of property records for all 121 members of Parliament has discovered that six National MPs use their private superannuation schemes to own property that does not need to be disclosed Рunlike assets held in trusts. This is because of an exception in the rules of the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

They are declared, they are declared their superannuation scheme, this is extremely lazy reporting by the Herald who it seems has invested a lot of time and effort into an investigation to come up with precisely nothing. But hey it is “the biggest data journalism project in New Zealand.”¬† Read more »

Major errors by dud judge in Banks case

There seems to be a serious dearth of quality judges in our district courts.

The NZ Herald outlines the rather basic errors of Judge Gittos in sending the Banks case to trial.

Jared Savage has made a good fist of the summary:

Mr Banks’ lawyer, David Jones QC, has filed a detailed memorandum which says that Mr Banks had been “vilified” in Parliament and the media as a result of Judge Gittos’ ruling, which he described as “fundamentally misstated and misdirected itself both on the evidence and law”.

He wrote that the “factual findings made, the analysis of the evidence and the resulting process by which the court came to its decision were wrong”.

In particular, Mr Jones said Judge Gittos was wrong to state that two $25,000 cheques from Kim Dotcom were personally given to Mr Banks after he flew to the millionaire’s mansion in a helicopter.¬† Read more »

Evidence mounting

Jared Savage in the NZ Herald reveals more information¬†about¬†the dodgy decision to fast track Bill Liu’s citizenship by ministers and MPs in the Labour party.

I can’t hardly wait for the report of the Auditor-General:

Emails obtained under the Official Information Act reveal a senior Immigration NZ investigator wrote to Mr Ross after learning of the decision.

Russell Ogilvy asked whether Mr Ross recommended that citizenship be declined and whether he had told Mr Jones “to speak with his own department regarding the decision”.

Mr Jones was the Acting Internal Affairs Minister in this case but also the Associate Immigration Minister.

“The minister was advised of both the pending police and INZ investigations,” responded Mr Ross.

Despite his recommendation, Mr Jones granted citizenship subject to Mr Liu taking the oath of allegiance.

Mr Ogilvy then asked Mr Ross to tell him when the citizenship ceremony would be held.

The emails also reveal that Mr Jones granted Mr Liu an urgent private ceremony at the request of Labour MP Dover Samuels, despite the advice of another DIA official that he did not meet the criteria.

Mr Samuels also wrote three earlier letters lobbying for Mr Liu’s citizenship application.

The VIP ceremony was held in a room at Parliament days after Mr Jones’ decision in his favour.

The next day he applied for an urgent passport, then changed his name to William Yan.


Liu-Jones Saga Summaries

The media is now belatedly starting to realise that Bill Liu is seriously dodgy, that his stories don’t stack up and neither do the excuses of Shane Jones.

Although most media continue to repeat the mistakes of the officials, in underestimating the size of the alleged fraud in China…

The extensive documents at Investigate show that the amounts concerned were far from a few million dollars:

‚ÄúYan was charged for accounting frauds and¬†fund embezzlement of public¬†company, the amount was said¬†to be RMB 720 million or 1.08¬†billion (between NZ$167 million¬†and NZ$257 million).‚ÄĚ

Here are today’s stories:

Jared Savage seems to be getting a handle on the stench of this case:

The public servant who handled the citizenship application of a millionaire Chinese businessman with multiple identities was told by his boss to “stop asking questions”, a transcript of court evidence shows.

What sort of pressure was applied to make senior government officials issue orders to stop questioning…that is corruption.

Mr Gambo wanted to make further inquiries with immigration authorities in Australia.

“I had a phone call that I was told not to ask any more questions because there was a lot of political pressure to send the file to Wellington.

“I was told to just process the file, send it to Wellington, don’t worry about asking any more questions.

“I have been working there for seven years and that was the first time I have had my boss phone me about an application.”

Asked who called him, Mr Gambo named the general manager of citizenship, Geoff May.

I’m not sure we even have a statutory body that is able to look into the breadth and depth of these sorts of allegation of corrupt behaviour. Each department has limited purview…the SFO looks at fraud only, the Auditor-General has no oversight of criminal activity, the Police have no oversight of political activity…it really is becoming a bugger’s muddle.

Jared Savage also provides a useful catalogue of the actions, activities and personnel involved in this murky affair.

Andrea Vance and Dana Levy carry claims of signs of torture on Bill Liu…which ironically was contained in a letter to Shane Jones from John Billington, who is also the lawyer for Dover Samuels.

It is really starting to stretch the realms of belief that there was no connection between Shane Jones, Bill Liu, Dover Samuels, and Shane Te Pou and his brother who worked in Shane jones office. The conflicts of interest are glaring and obvious even if Shane Jones cannot see them.

They’re dreamin’ if they think it is that low

Jared Savage has written an article about benefit fraud. Apparently, shock horror, it has trebled from 5 years ago:

Benefit fraud cost taxpayers a record $22.6 million last year, and nine social welfare staff were sacked for ripping off the system.

Figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show fraud detected by the Ministry of Social Development has tripled from $7.5 million five years ago.

At that time, the ministry set up a fraud intelligence unit because of an international trend towards increasingly elaborate scams, including the use of stolen and faked identities, said chief executive Peter Hughes.

The ministry had also been embarrassed by Wayne Patterson, who used 123 fake identities to steal $3.4 million over two years Рor $56,000 a fortnight Рbefore he was caught in 2006 and jailed for eight years.

His offending is still the largest benefit fraud – the second largest amount stolen was $571,000 in 2008.

Oh right so it tripled because they are detecting it better…that is a good thing.

However it hasn’t tripled, the fraud has always been there and under Labour there was a dis-inclination to care about it.

But let me tell you…their fraud is quite a bit larger than $22 million. That is only what they publicly admit to. In private the numbers are more like $200 million. The trouble is most of the staff who can do anything about this are wombles who wear grey Julius Marlow double zip shoes, tan knee socks, tan walk shorts and yellow shorts with big lapels, even in summer they ear their grey cardigan with leather buttons. I know this because I have met them.

Back in 2000 their state of the art fraud department consisted of the aforementioned womble and a couple of helpers using state of the art analysis tools like Excel.

Proper data visualisation tools or¬†appropriately designed farud detections suites were and probably still are non-existant. I know this must be the case because otherwise ¬†the cases like Wayne Patterson’s wouldn’t be happening.