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Fraud Claims Against Emirates Team New Zealand Dismissed

27 August 2020By Miranda Blazeby

Allegations that New Zealand’s America’s Cup Challenger team committed fraud and mishandled public money have been dismissed.

A government report into the claims has quashed numerous allegations against Emirates Team New Zealand and boss Grant Dalton.

An audit into the allegations carried out by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in consultation with host partner Auckland Council concluded that there had been no financial impropriety of any nature.

The claims, which accused the team of mishandling public money and depositing money into a Hungarian bank account, were previously dismissed by Dalton as a “deliberate, sinister and highly orchestrated attack.”

ETNZ's test boat Te Kahu

The Beattie Varley report found no evidence of any loan from America’s Cup Event Limited (ACE) and no evidence of fraud committed by either party. The report also dismissed personal allegations made against Grant Dalton that he financially benefitted from government funds. As a result, government investment has been reinstated.

Speaking about the report, ministry of business, innovation and employment chief executive Carolyn Tremain said: “It was important to work through the audit process and confirm that there was no financial impropriety or misappropriation of funds.”

ETNZ and ACE chief executive Grant Dalton added: “With the departure of the previous event managers, we have undertaken a thorough review of our personnel and we have the team to deliver on the event. We have engaged experienced and respected senior event professionals to lead the event preparations.”

Earlier this year, Emirates Team New Zealand said it had discovered and dismissed a number of “informants” responsible for infiltrating America’s Cup Event (ACE).

It is alleged those responsible made “highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations regarding financial and structural matters against ACE, ETNZ and its personnel”.