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Arrest over alleged property fraud scheme

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/06/2016

A man facing dozens of charges over an alleged Auckland mortgage fraud scheme has been arrested trying to back into the country.

Simon Lawrence Wood Turnbull, 43, was arrested at Auckland International Airport while trying to re-enter New Zealand on Wednesday.

An arrest warrant was issued to Turnbull in 2014 after he failed to appear in court on 38 charges, including using forged documents, dishonestly taking or using document, and obtaining by deception.

The Serious Fraud Office claims Turnbull was part of scheme in which false loan applications were given to a fund management company to purchase 19 properties around the Auckland region in 2006 and 2007.

He appeared in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday where he entered no plea.

He will appear again in August.

Turnbull left for Hong Kong in 2008 and had not returned since, according to the SFO.

In 2014, Malcolm Mayer was sentenced to six years' jail for his role in the same scheme as Turnbull is alleged to have been part of.

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