February 7, 2023

Business manager pleads guilty in $4m Hobsonville property development fraud

A business manager has been convicted for falsely representing a series of multimillion-dollar bank payments for the deposit for an Auckland property development.

Peng Pian, 38, pleaded guilty this morning in the High Court to three charges of obtaining by deception from December 2015 against a wealthy international business investor considering real estate investments in New Zealand.

The fraud involved a false representation that a $4.4m deposit was required to purchase property at 133 Clark Rd, Scott Point, Hobsonville.

A Crown charge notice released to the Herald shows that $2.1m was paid to a bank account by way of two payments of $1.62m and $480,000 upon the deception.

The Clark Rd property is a series of lots which form part of the residential development known as Hobson Green. According to its website, new four-bedroom, two-level homes, are being sold from $899,000.

A second charge against Pian shows a further $1.1m was paid under the false representation it was required to purchase the Clark Rd property, while the third charge relates to a $900,000 payment.

Further details about Pian’s offending, however, can not be published after Justice Geoffrey Venning declined the Herald’s application for access to the summary of facts.

He said he did so to preserve the fair trial rights of Pian’s co-accused, who have pleaded not guilty and will stand trial in the High Court next year.

Pian, who was remanded on bail, is due to be sentenced next month.

His lawyer, David Jones QC, said he would be seeking home detention for his client.

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