“What would you have said if this had happened under a Labour government?” my farmer asked when news broke that Allan and Jean Hubbard were being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
I would have ranted and I would have been wrong. This is a matter for the law not politics.
There is no doubt the Hubbards did a lot of good for their community and the wider economy but there are very serious questions about whose money they used to do it, albeit for no personal financial gain.
In Counting the Cost Rebecca Macfie wrote:
If the Hubbards are indeed found to have committed fraud, their famously frugal lifestyle and commitment to charity – Hubbard estimates he has given away $200 million over the years – suggest they have not profited personally. But that’s irrelevant to the SFO: “Personal gain is not necessarily a requirement of fraud or theft,” says Feeley. “If I take $100 from you and say I am going to put it in the bank, whether I give it to the IHC or bet it at the race track, either way that would be a fraudulent act.”
Now the NBR reports D-Day for Hubbards?:
The Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office were today set to lay charges in relation to a finance company, with speculation focused on Allan Hubbard’s Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds.
NBR was aware of last minute discussions between Mr Hubbard’s lawyer Mike Heron and the SFO over how the decision would be announced. A press release was due to be sent out by the regulators today.
It is a year and a day since the news first broke that the SFO was investigating the Hubbards.
It will have been a hard year for them – and for the people who trusted them with their money who will be lucky to get much, if any of it back among whom are the taxpayers who guaranteed deposits.
UPDATE: NBR reports: Hubbard to face 50 charges.