Suspected NZ fraudster 'on the run in Dubai'

3 July 2009

A New Zealander believed to be the last link in an international money laundering and investment scam is on the run in Dubai, US prosecutors have announced.

Wayne Leslie Davidson is accused of travelling around New Zealand selling bogus pre-revolution Chinese gilts and US railroad bonds to sheep farmers in the country, the New Zealand Herald said.

Victims of the scheme, which ran from 1998 and 2003, were sold the bonds with the guarantee that they were risk-free and had "astronomical values".

Investors were also told that the bonds could be used to obtain lines of credit from banks in Europe, which could then be placed in high-yield investments.

However, the bonds were only valuable as collectors' items, the newspaper said.

The scheme is believed to have bilked investors in New Zealand, Australia and the United States out of US$4 million.

Three American citizens have already been convicted or pleaded guilty to their role in the scam. Mr Davidson is believed to have left New Zealand in 2002 and has since been "hopscotching" through Spain, Belgium, the UK and Nigeria. He is now thought to be hiding in Dubai.

US prosecutors indicted Mr Davidson in August 2008 and if convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.

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