16 March 2022
A Korean citizen and his lawyer have been ordered to pay $130,000 in civil penalties, in addition to criminal fines handed down in 2020, after the pair attempted to obstruct the Overseas Investment Office investigation.
Both matters relate to the purchase of sensitive land in Helensville without consent during 2016.
Dr Won Joo Hur has now been ordered to pay penalties of $100,000, and his lawyer Dr Jaeho Choi has been ordered to pay $30,000 for acquiring the land without consent and using a company to try to avoid the Overseas Investment Act 2005.
Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand Manager Enforcement Simon Pope says the Overseas Investment Office welcomes the court’s decision.
“This has been a long-running investigation leading to action being taken in both the criminal and civil spheres,” Mr Pope said.
“The defendants tried to make the purchase in the name of a New Zealand-owned company, despite legal advice that they couldn’t do that. This kind of thing doesn’t wash. You can’t use an associated company to make a purchase on your behalf.”
“To keep themselves safe, overseas investors can make sure that any purchase agreements they enter into are subject to consent from the Overseas Investment Office. That’s a simple act that can prevent these kinds of penalties.”
For further detail read the articles below relating to the 2020 criminal convictions and fines.
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