Great Danes, Acquisitive Australians, and a coterie of Swiss accountants

This post is something of a sequel to one I wrote a year ago (Great Danes) about the link between the Equinor Trust, based in Auckland, and Equinor A/S in Denmark. It will be worth another consideration of the crew involved with this, both the New Zealanders and the residents of Copenhagen, with some Swiss and Australian connections. I fell on to this topic while looking once again at the shell companies being run by Steven James Green, and will return to that next time, but for now concentrate on Lachlan Williams.

It was Lachlan Williams that was involved in the Kiwi Deposit Building Society, a NZ company that was doing significant business before its activities raised concerns about money laundering. Curiously, the records of this company appear to have disappeared without a trace from the Companies Office website. Nonetheless, there are records for the Kiwi Deposit Holdings Ltd, a company set up by Lachlan Williams in 2009, with the 100 shares held by the Kiwi Deposit Building Society. The company went through several shareholders, including Glencaple Holdings Ltd, before being run by Allanzia Trust Services and Matthew Hitchman in 2014. By that time, Kiwi Deposit Holdings had become Burlington Holdings Ltd, and the building society had been removed from the register.

Around the time that Kiwi Deposit Building Society got into hot water, one of Matthew Hitchman’s other companies, Orbital Capital Investors Ltd, was linked to a controversial share dealing in Australia. This involved a space technology company called NewSat, and the matter was covered extensively by the Sydney Morning Herald. On 19 March 2015, the SMH published a story “Unlawful share trade by Bailleu Holst blue chip broker earns millions”, and linked the New Zealand registered Orbital Capital with NewSat. The deal apparently involved an emergency $A5 million loan in July 2013, with NewSat agreeing to repay it after three months, and through a sale of 17 million shares to Orbital Capital at a significant discount. The share deal was arranged by the prestigious broking firm Bailleu Holst, and their director Stephen Macaw, which resulted in $A2.4 million profit for Orbital, on top of a substantial interest payment. But the key allegation by the SMH was that Macaw’s brother, Scott Campbell Macaw, a director of Kiwi Deposit Building Society, was also involved in the Orbital Capital deal, through a Danish company.

This was quite a complex allegation: so the Sydney Morning Herald claimed that Orbital Capital’s ‘principal’ was a Zurich businessman, Christoph Dietsche; and Orbital Capital was linked to the Kiwi Deposit Building Society [KDBS]; the KDBS also traded in NewSat’s shares; and that Christoph Dietsche and Scott Macaw were both directors in a Danish company. This actually doesn’t quite add up. However, Dietsche and Scott Macaw are obviously known to each other. They have both been directors of Equinor A/S in Denmark (as has Williams), and in Amalie2 Ejendomsinvest A/S, at different times; and both are among the current officers of Doxa Investments A/S. It is the New Zealand connection that is somewhat unclear. Although both are on the register, neither Dietsche or Macaw was obviously involved with Orbital Capital Investors or Orbital Capital GP Ltd, and both companies are now removed from the register. Scott Macaw was an early of Equinor Trust Ltd, now in liquidation; and in March 2013 he became a director of Ruslan Investments Ltd, along with Lachlan Williams, but that company was de-registered later that year. Meanwhile, there is a Christoph Dietsche listed as a shareholder for Baldur International Ltd, along with Serge Girschweiler, who is also listed as living in Zug, Switzerland. Both Dietsche and Girschweiler are on the team at Seed Wealth Management AG, according to their website. While, in Auckland, Baldur International also owned the shares in ITSC Information Technology Services & Consulting FZ Ltd. And there is one entry for Christoph Dietsche in the Panama Papers.

All of the New Zealand companies listed above have had the involvement of Lachlan Williams. In the previous post I briefly referred to Williams bringing overseas companies onto the New Zealand register. He appears to have also done this a number of times for a coterie of Swiss-based wealth managers: Giovanni Pasqualino, Eugenia Bianchi, and Emilio Bianchi. And it appears that Emilio Bianchi succeeded Scott Campbell Macaw as a director in the Danish company Manter Holdings A/S. The Bianchis have a presence in the U.K. register, including Nairn Investments Ltd; and Eugenia Bianchi and Pasqualino have also set up a few companies in Wyoming. But most of their directorships are in New Zealand and Panama. And while some of their New Zealand companies were set up by Lachlan Williams, other were imported from Wyoming or Delaware, or even Oregon. For example, Topmast Yachting LLC was an Oregon company added to the New Zealand register on 4 July 2011; the agent  for the transfer was listed as Stine Ronne in Auckland, with a local lawyer as witness. Topmast Yachting Ltd is about to be removed from the New Zealand register, and the directors include Martin John Mayhew Allen (also the shareholder), an associate of the Bianchis and Pasqualino, who is now resident in Panama.

Some more interesting examples of the tax haven companies transferred to New Zealand, on behalf of the Eugenia Bianchi and Giovanni Pasqualino, are South Europe Invest LLC and Investidora El Tunal LLC. Both companies are now about to removed, and the directors are Martin Allen and Herlinda del Carmen Suarez Medina of Panama. And both companies were transferred from the Delaware register on 14 June 2011, with the agent being Stine Ronne, but with an interesting difference. The witness was named as being a Timothy Whittley, and his signature was beside the stamp of the Australian embassy in Copenhagen, Denamrk. So, although Ms Ronne gives an Auckland address, she was actually in Copenhagen at the time, and a quick search indicates she now works for a shipping firm there. While Mr Whittley is presumably still an employee, possibly the staff driver at the Australian embassy in Denmark. How he got involved with Lachlan Williams offshore adventures would be interesting to know.

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