Brownlee was on fraud-accused's board
Cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee is ''deeply embarrassed" at getting caught up in an alleged fraud saga that has dragged in senior business figures and ex-All Black Jonah Lomu.
"I didn't do my research at all . . . I'm just deeply embarrassed I was anywhere near it," Brownlee said of his short tenure on the board of NZ Casino Services, a company said to be run by alleged fraudster Loizos Michaels.
He was speaking to Fairfax about a court trial where National Party president Peter Goodfellow was giving evidence in Michaels' trial. Michaels has pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud involving dozens of investors who lost more than $3 million.
Brownlee became a founding director of NZCS on Goodfellow's recommendation but resigned after a few weeks.
That Brownlee and National Party president Peter Goodfellow were so greedy that they didn't read the fine print and rushed into a scam deal should surprise no one, wanting to turn a quick buck and being blindsided by that desire catches out people to Nigerian internet scammers all the time, but what is shocking is what this front company was intending to do, and the real question in all of this becomes, did Goodfellow and Brownlee know what the company strategy was, because if they did, it calls into question their ethical character...
The former casino boss said he was convinced by Michaels to apply for a casino operator's licence and to run a media campaign falsely alleging pokie cash skimming and prize-draw rigging at New Zealand casinos in order to crash the price of SkyCity's shares to smooth the path for the takeover.
...so did Gerry and Peter know that the business plan involved a false media campaign to create deception and slander to crash the share price of Sky City to enable a mass take over? Lying about a company to destroy it seems more corporate raider than respectable business dealer, what does it say about a Cabinet Minister and Party President if they knew what the strategy was and still signed up to it anyway?