Fairfax Media: Police release Citifleet investigation report

Updated post
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 at 4:50 p.m.

██ CITIFLEET POLICE REPORT (PDF, 4.41 MB) —via Fairfax Media

The detective, who has since left the police force, also noted the council did not supply Bachop’s credit card or fuel card statements as requested.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 13:08, August 12 2015
Police raised possibility of others involved in Dunedin City Council Citifleet fraud
By Hamish McNeilly
It had been billed as the work of a sole suspect, but a police file into the investigation of the theft of 152 cars from the Dunedin City Council fingers the “highly suspicious” activity of another unnamed person. Police have released to Fairfax Media their investigation report into the Citifleet fraud.
Read more

Previous articles:
18.12.14 Stuff: Car fraud pinned on dead man
3.6.14 Stuff: Dunedin council unit under scrutiny

[screenshot – click to enlarge]

Email 12.8.15 - Hamish McNeilly Fairfax Media Dunedin Bureau Chief

█ For more, enter the terms *citifleet*, *conduct* and *vandervis* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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55 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, Transportation

55 responses to “Fairfax Media: Police release Citifleet investigation report

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    “”Almost without exception the purchasers of the vehicles stated that they believed (Bachop) was entitled to sell the vehicles and had no reason to believe that he was not forwarding their money onto council,” – note the words ALMOST ALL.
    Believing goods were dishonestly obtained and dishonestly offered for sale, but buying them anyway… isn’t there a law somewhere about that sort of thing? Frowned upon, wasn’t it? Or am I showing my age, living in the past when police were about crime, not speed-fine collectors. Traffic cops did traffic, police did all the other crime stuff so they didn’t have to ration their time between dead certs, $$$ for government vs investigation of dodgy deeds that might not pay a return for time and efforts.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    DCC desperate to get to the full truth:
    “The detective, who has since left the police force, also noted the council did not supply Bachop’s credit card or fuel card statements as requested.”

    And quardle oodle wardle doodle, the tui mimed.

  3. Elizabeth

    See Comments about Anngow at this post:
    DCC: Limited Citifleet investigation about insurance (19.12.14)

  4. Elizabeth

    TWITTER

    @DnCityCouncil is now following @whatifdunedin

    This took a while.

  5. Peter

    The introductory italicised intro stands out like dogs’ balls. Why did the council not supply this material to the police? Can they do so? Can’t the police insist?

  6. Freddie Plod

    And who made the decision not to co-operate with the police?

  7. Gurglars

    Well, I find this most unsatisfactory and disturbing. The DCC have set up the police to find Bachop and only Bachop guilty. That implies complicity in the protection of individuals known to be complicit by the decision maker(s).

    The concept that one man only is guilty of the conversion and misappropriation of 152 vehicles without assistance is a nonsense.

    Just for a start, the manager or policy maker who would set up a parameter such as Bachop could dispose of vehicles valued at up to $10,000 without scrutiny prior or subsequently is not only complicit, but incompetent. All or any of the managers who discussed, implemented or approved this policy are complicit as in “a lack of knowledge of the law is no defense against breaking the law”, a chilling maxim which no doubt has been quoted to you often by the police whilst being investigated for a speeding or “PARKING” infringement or even by the DCC parking fine wallahs.

    Thus I call for the prosecution and relevant penalties of those managers involved in the chicanery by policy setting of such incompetence leading to the fraudulent of one or many, and the suicide of one person, a victim of that incompetency and chicanery.

    • Elizabeth

      We find [says DCC] that Mr Avery has offered his resignation —“so sad”. And, ah, Kevin Thompson has left our employ, resigned —did we mention “employment processes”, like the good diligent honest people that we are [read, lying conniving deceitful corrupt fraudulent poisonous keeper/managers of the ratepayers’ treasure], looking after YOU, Dunedin.

      • Elizabeth

        “We are pleased to introduce Kevin, the newest member to join our Property Management Team. During his working career, Kevin has worked extensively in the customer services industry. Over the last 17 years he has worked in a regulatory environment in local government which has included responsibility for the delivery of building and environmental health services.
        Kevin is pleased to join our team and is looking forward to growing new relations with both landlords and tenants. Kevin will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the management of properties, including letting and interviewing prospective tenants, property inspections, rental assessments, maintenance and rental arrears.”
        http://dunedin.ljhooker.co.nz/about-us/our-team/kevin-thompson

        Real estate profile for Kevin Thompson
        Wayne Graham Realty Ltd (Licensed: REAA 2008) – LJ Hooker, Dunedin
        http://www.realestate.co.nz/profile/agent/303083

        • Gurglars

          This may seem cynical, but there is no mention of Kevin running the parking services operation where the refusal of any excuse for a parking misdemeanour was mandatory under his watch. Is parking the new unspeakable word like Dunny? Or is the lack of information an attempt to distance Kevin from any criticism of his management skills as evidenced by his overseeing of the theft of at least 152 cars and the apparent misuse of credit cards?

  8. Rob Hamlin

    As far as I know the Coroner has not yet ruled on Bachop, so it is not as yet a suicide, rather a death whose actual cause is not yet established. Or has it been slipped out quietly – Anybody know?

    Mc.P.’s article today makes for interesting reading: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/352333/two-escape-citifleet-prosecution

    The first sentence is unusually direct:

    “A police report suggests Brent Bachop’s death and a right to silence may have helped two others escape prosecution following the Dunedin City Council’s $1.5 million Citifleet fraud.”

    The Police report appears to be the first formal acknowledgement that Mr Bachop’s demise may have been directly beneficial to some related parties who might otherwise have faced criminal charges. That alone should make a full corner’s inquest on his demise a requirement if formal procedures are still pending. Under the circumstances unless suicide can be proven to a high level of rigour, an open verdict would be an appropriate outcome. For this reason this inquest should occur before any evidence that may be pertinent to it becomes ‘lost’.

    • Mike

      yes just imagine what would happen if the coroner found that it was in fact a homicide …..

    • Elizabeth

      Or indeed, if an officer of a local government body had supplied the ammunition. Given, at the time, only one council officer on staff had the delegation to purchase ammunition.
      With friends like this, who needs enemies. No longer works for the esteemed local body.

      Rob, no Coroner’s Finding released. Once done, an inquest (challenge to the Finding) would make compelling theatre.

  9. Joe

    DCC contacted Police regarding suspected fraud.
    No actual statement of complaint was taken.
    Police asked the DCC for, but did not receive credit card statements.
    Police asked for and did not receive fuel card receipts.
    Why would Council contact police regarding suspected fraud, and then withhold further evidence requested by the police.
    Council appears to have dug themselves a hole too deep. On the one hand wanting to quieten the masses, by being seen to bring the police in. Then interfering with the police investigation, in not making available at the police request the credit card statements, and fuel card receipts.
    Is the council trying to manipulate the results of the investigation, and if so who are they protecting ?

  10. Elizabeth

    Then (ODT 13.8.15), “The police report also discussed an unnamed person who appeared to have “directly benefited” from the frauds, resulting in “tainted assets”, based on an analysis of recent bank account activity.”

    A chat with an ex-cop in town this morning pointed up the fact that “someone” selling DCC fleet cars had cheques made out to DCC, only to convert the cheques to his own name before presentation at his bank.

    “Perky” aka ………………………………….

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/347983/long-list-car-deals

  11. Mike

    Interestingly reading the police report there seem to be two reports laying out facts from the DCC – the “Deloite report” and the “[blanked out name] report” I assume that there’s an internal DCC report as well.

  12. Gurglars

    Those council staff who “regularly noticed” Mrs Bachop driving council cars during office hours (and after hours) who did not report that fact to the CEO are guilty of obscuring the course of justice. Any denial of that responsibility demonstrates that council staff are unconcerned about ratepayers and more concerned about inter staff relationships than doing their job!

    Administering the city on behalf of the ratepayers.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Presumably this is the sort of thing they got a rark-up about in the recent fraud spotter course.
      Previously under another CEO it might have been unwise to dob ion anyone, never know who’s up who and who’s not paying, so to speak.

  13. Elizabeth

    Backtracking –

    ██ Deloitte’s Dunedin City Council Project Lewis – Investigation Report (dated August 2014) was publicly released in December 2014.

    There are two further Deloitte reports: the non public investigation report; and the digitised file of transactions (includes credit card and fuel card items).

    ### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 11:56, June 26 2015
    No prosecution in $1.5m Citifleet fraud as sole suspect is dead
    Source: Fairfax News
    Former fleet manager Brent Bachop died in May 2014, shortly after questions about car sales began to be asked. Former fleet manager Brent Bachop died in May 2014, shortly after questions about car sales began to be asked. An outspoken Dunedin councillor says anyone who believed only one man was responsible for the $1.5 million Dunedin City Council car fraud is “delusional”. Police believe that former fleet manager Brent Bachop was the sole person responsible. Bachop died in a suspected suicide on May 21, 2014, soon after questions were raised.
    Bachop’s death is before the coroner.

    Lee Vandervis said the council, by appointing its own accountants to investigate the fraud followed later by a police investigation into the content of those reports “created fears of a self-serving cover up all along, fears which I believe now prove well justified”.

    The fraud mainly concerned the sale of 152 DCC cars over between 2003 and 2014. The council received no money from the sale of the cars. The police investigation looked into aspects of the fraud brought to light by an extensive Deloitte Report, which began investigating two days after Bachop’s death.

    DCC acting chief executive Grant McKenzie said: “The police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation, but we are disappointed those who directly profited from the fraud won’t be held to account through the criminal justice system.” He confirmed people within the organisation had been held accountable.

    The Deloitte report looked at a range of issues, including the way the fraud was carried out and internal control failings at the council.

    Vandervis said the destruction of DCC records hampered the Deloitte investigation, and alleged the extent of the fraud was greater than the proven amount, and that the frauds were made possible by the involvement of people in an [sic] outside the council.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      “The police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation….”

      Naturally, the DCC Group Chief Financial Officer / DCC Acting Chief Executive looks a little silly here given (Fairfax Media 12.8.15) “the council did not supply Bachop’s credit card or fuel card statements as requested”.

      WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THOROUGH, GRANT.

  14. Hype O'Thermia

    “The police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation….”
    ….of the limited material that was provided for them to work with. They’d have investigated the rest of it too, but for some reason it remained deliberately hidden from their eyes.

    An uncharitable person might imagine the DCC was less than eager to find out the truth, the whole truth….

    • Gurglars

      So the DCC sits above the police in the justice pecking order! An interesting concept. Where in the myriad of New Zealand or even The lawlords does this precedent exist and under what guise was it established in codified law?

  15. Elizabeth

    ODT has more on the Citifleet story “that keeps on giving” in tomorrow’s newspaper.

  16. russandbev

    What an interesting report – even just to follow the logic and strategy used by the parties involved.

    So, now it has been shown that if you say to Mr Plod, “I’m not talking to you, go away”, it is likely that they will do just that. Of course we have seen these “guidelines” used many times before when the Police have been asked to investigate and then prosecute. Look at the obvious case whereby TTCF gave millions to the ORFU in clear contravention of the law. No doubt that the money went there, no doubt how it was done, no doubt who was involved, no doubt at all there were all sorts of “bureaucrat’s” little hides to be protected, and no doubt at all that there was all sorts of “interventions” and all the cops had to say was that it “wasn’t in the public interest to prosecute”. Who decides that? The very people involved. And the Police can, and do withhold any reports or minutes of meetings to protect those “interested” parties.

    But to return to this case – right from the moment that Lee VanderVis first brought this matter to the attention of the management of the DCC to now there has been a determined decision to try and minimise and bury the whole matter. That is neither in the public interest, nor is it right.

    It is more than interesting, as Rob points out, that the published statements seem to contravene the Coroner’s Act. We have read, or know from published material, that Mr Bachop was confronted regarding these matters and then committed suicide as a result of that event. We have learned that in the view of the DCC he was the only one involved in the huge fraud. The fact that in order for Mr Bachop to benefit from the fraud he had to convert vehicles that weren’t his to cash which he could enjoy clearly involved many others is obvious. The Police report states that ALL but three of these enablers of this fraud believed that Mr Bachop was entitled to sell them the vehicles – I am so reminded of that wonderful phrase – “an orchestrated litany of lies”. If it’s too good to be true then it probably is.

    But who was looking after the asset register? How on earth could this number of vehicles be not recorded? Who failed to notice that there was no cash coming in to the DCC coffers as assets disappeared? Who has been held accountable for their total lack of very basic accounting requirements?

    And there is the sad matter of the wife. And who can’t think of the wife of Michael Swann? Millions coming in to the household and not a query? Come on. Yes, a sad situation but one which does need full open and honest resolution.

  17. Gurglars

    Right russandbev, and who now asks the questions and hopefully receives the answer. The Ombudsman, Sue Bidrose? Dave Cull? or are we left with Dunedin’s Don Quixote, Lee Vandervis, vilified by the guilty and their co-conspirators.

  18. Calvin Oaten

    Might be time for the City’s leader, the Mayor no less, to show ‘some testicular fortitude’ and in the real interests of the public front up and open the books on the reports from Deloitte, the DCC and the Police on the ‘Citifleet fraud’. This is never going away, and he has already ‘besmirched the reputation’ of Cr Vandervis, including two ‘kangaroo code of conduct’ witch hunts, for the ‘cardinal sin’ of speaking out when he sees things not ‘kosher’. Then there is the Forsyth Barr Stadium merry go round ‘smoke and mirrors’ trick, unresolved despite Cull’s solemn pledge when elected to open the books and show transparency on council business. One day someone will write the history of Dunedin in the 21st century and it won’t be a pretty story.

  19. Rob Hamlin

    This in Mc.P. today:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/352455/reports-impression-false

    How depressing. Also interesting to note that the detective who wrote this obviously unpopular piece apparently “no longer works for the police”. Perhaps they never did – or perhaps not in the approved manner? It will be of course deeply regrettable for them if their departure was not voluntary, but it is absolutely essential to train the boys and girls in blue to act in the best interests of the community that they serve – and for them to know exactly who that community is.

    • Peter

      I am amazed that council employees could use pins on credit cards that could not be traced to actual people. How’s that?
      I also see no harm in showing the police what Deloitte uncovered. Two different sets of investigations, once put alongside each other,could throw up more connections I would have thought.
      In the name of ‘thoroughness’ as claimed.
      It seems there will be a sequel from the police. I am at least pleased with the comments by Sue Bidrose re the scoundrels who should be ashamed of themselves etc. The comments are not mealy mouthed.
      Frustrating for the community that the whole investigation by the various authorities have proved to be ineffectual in landing some blows where they count.

    • Mike

      The problem of course is that if you aren’t transparent the public have to fill in the gaps themselves – complaining when (if) they get it wrong is silly, the problem is really that you’re not being open and transparent with the people who pay your salary (as you promised in your election campaign a few years ago) – fix that problem and the other problem goes away.

  20. Joe

    The spin doctors dig the hole even deeper in their attempt to hide the truth.
    The revelations in today’s ODT that they arranged a meeting with the police to discuss the need for credit and fuel card information, and convinced the police it was not necessary for them to see it.
    Who and what has driven the spin doctors to go to such great lengths to convince the police that they don’t need this information. Why not just hand it over? The cover up continues.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “The cover up continues.” Ain’t kidding, Joe.
      I’m all in favour of resisting nosey-parkering into private lives. To those who say if you’ve nothing to hide why worry, I say, do you have a door on your bathroom?
      But this is different, This is not private personal stuff, this is not a fishing expedition, like the bad old days when cops used to bash their way into people’s homes on a rumour (or a grudge) and bust holes in the walls “looking for drugs”.
      This is about fraud. There is no conceivable *honourable* reason for preventing police from “joining the dots” by allowing them full access to all paper and electronic records.

  21. Elizabeth

    To say that I’m pleased NZ Police put that report into the public arena, and that Fairfax Media was good enough to share it to “other media” is a vast understatement. It helps to show up the head bummers at DCC for what we know them to be. It’s not a joyful discovery by any means, to be so right. Now the war of words between senior police and the whitewash priest and priestess of our esteemed local body. How undignified are our beloved actors. How amateur, or was that nonexistent, was the council’s care and protection of our assets and finance. Bidrose and Cull should resign.

  22. Elizabeth

    Is our esteemed chief servant saying there is no CCTV evidence about town that captures at least some of the credit and fuel card transactions. Or are we dumb and stupid, we know that NZ Police have the means to track amazing amounts of information down phone lines used for electronic transactions. Something does not add up here, DCC is doing broken wing.

  23. Elizabeth

    This DCC ‘forensic delay of convenience’ tactic with Citifleet seems to reverberate with what’s happening with the CST files for administration of the Stadium construction project. Funny that.

  24. Elizabeth

    Then we come back to the local body’s weak-kneed handling of a main suspect such that loss of life was given peculiar opportunity. From there everything went to pus with the institution dancing around on increasingly bizarre PR tracks, to pretend it’s in control and a go-ahead spendthrift. Praise be. For all the mangled big toes, bloodied swabs, antiseptic and support bandages.

  25. martin legge

    Detective Matthew Preece has taken his skills to the Serious Fraud office. The move would have required favourable references from the likes of Inspector Guthrie and Co and I bet Citifleet featured strongly in his CV.

    He is now working alongside the same SFO investigators who assisted the DIA with “Operation Chestnut”, an investigation in which evidence linking TTCF (pokie trust) and the ORFU with the accused O’Brien was all but ignored.

    Preece is in good company and on the way up but once again Dunedin is shafted by NZ law enforcement.

  26. Elizabeth

    Refer report by Investigator Matthew (Matt) Preece, then of Dunedin police; the man cited by Cr Vandervis at his Conduct Hearing rigged up by Mayor Cull.

    Post: Fairfax Media: Police release Citifleet investigation report (12.8.15)

    Police would answer other questions about the Citifleet report “more fully in due course”. –Inspector Jason Guthrie, Otago coastal area commander

    ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Aug 2015
    Citifleet report’s impression ‘false’
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says he is concerned about “a false impression” after Dunedin police released an outdated report into the Citifleet fraud suggesting a lack of co-operation. […] In it, police said the council had not supplied information about former Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop’s use of council credit and fuel cards, despite requests.
    Read more

    [screenshot]
    LinkedIn Matt Preece

    https://nz.linkedin.com/pub/matt-preece/89/158/20b

  27. Gurglars

    If it quacks, waddles and squawks like a duck, it’s a duck alright, but not to Dave Cull and the DCC, a report at the time by Matthew Preece, could not be correct and created a false impression.

    Because it had not been sanitised by DCC spinners.

    The police did not need to see credit card statements because Deloitte had already seen them!

    But was Deloitte charged with evaluating legality? Or accountability? And are these the same questions? The police could not know unless they evaluated the statements independently.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “The police did not need to see credit card statements because Deloitte had already seen them!”
      The drug squad did not need to search my house because my cleaner is very thorough, she’d have seen them if there was anything to see. (This free, open-source tactic is hereby made available for use. Good luck…..!)

  28. Richard Stedman

    “The ODT understands the report’s author, Detective Matt Preece, of Dunedin CIB, no longer works for police, but questions about his departure were not answered yesterday.” ODT 14 August.

    This statement by the ODT attempts to place mistrust in the mind of the reader and imply that there was something untoward about the departure of Matthew Preece from the NZ Police when in fact he moved to SFO. Why did they not say so? Because by publishing this statement in this way they support the spin being applied by Bidrose and Cull. In my view it is dangerously close to a defamation.

    • russandbev

      The other alternative to this is just sloppy journalism – how long does it take to google a person’s name? Less than a minute? Mind you, if you did the same to say, Jim Harland, you would simply see that he left the DCC and now works for NZTA. Doesn’t tell the full story does it? If there is something smelly in the woodshed about Mr Preece, it will be well hidden in the name of “privacy”.

      • Richard Stedman

        This is exactly what I mean russandbev, the ODT has now got you indulging in innuendo by planting the seed in your mind in the hope that it will help discredit Preece’s report. Your post confirms for me that the ODT article has successfully placed doubt in the public conscience and is defamatory. Call it sloppy journalism if you like, but the reporter’s work is checked by at least three sometimes four experienced and more senior staff.

  29. Peter

    Moral of the story is never believe all you read in the ODT. I don’t.

  30. Elizabeth

    In view of Det Matt Preece’s report (December 2014) it is well known that Bachop used more than one DCC credit card but that DCC (in particular, DCC Finance) has obfuscated on this fact for some years.

    And indeed, in the case of one particular LGOIMA request made by Cr Vandervis, DCC Finance took it upon themselves to knowingly supply information on one credit card ONLY that Bachop had used —when complete in the knowledge he had more cards at his disposal.

    This has all been raised elsewhere at this website, historically. It ain’t over.

  31. russandbev

    Not sure where to put this comment, but I note that in Stuff today the Thomas family is considering taking defamation action against the NZ Police concerning the lies told about them during the Police investigation started reluctantly after Rochelle Crewe called for action.

    This is one of the clearest cases of police corruption in NZ ever recorded.

    Police decide that Arthur Alan Thomas is guilty
    Police plant a cartridge case in the garden to subvert justice
    Police never accept the findings of the Royal Commission pardoning Thomas, and continue to believe that Thomas “got off on a technicality”
    Police hierarchy including the Commissioner, praise the corrupt cop that planted the cartridge case at his funeral
    Police continue to spread information through their own force that Thomas was guilty and that no-one else was involved
    Police failed to prosecute the corrupt cops – with no explanation and rumours that they destroyed vital evidence
    Police closed down all other enquiries or investigation into the murders – purely based on their belief that Thomas committed the murders and so no-one else did

    How many times does this case need to be raised before the Thomas family are sheltered from Police abuse? Only when the Commissioner comes out in public and acknowledges that the Police, in acting corruptly, were wrong, that they were wrong not to prosecute those corrupt cops, that they were wrong in failing to properly investigate the case, that they were wrong and continue to be wrong in spreading malicious lies about the Thomas family, and that they will act with severity against their own if these lies continue.

    I hope that the Thomas family do pursue proceedings and win substantial damages. But rest assured, like the rest of the Police investigation into this case, they will prevaricate and fail to respond in the hope that it will all go away and more and more people will die before all of the truth is exposed.

    {Link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/73013286/arthur-allan-thomas-family-consider-legal-action-for-defamation -Eds}

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