The latest New Zealand Herald article on Blue Chip by Maria Slade [Immigrant banker put $1.7m in Blue Chip] is interesting for at least three reasons.
One, it points to a specific truth about fraud: all levels of class, education, access to financial counselling and sophistication are vulnerable:
- 2,000 mostly seniors living on a fixed income and a millionaire British investment banker (Blue Chip) or
- dozens of barely literate Indian and Chinese arrivals with Green Acres and Green Power franchises.
A British investment banker who came to New Zealand for a better lifestyle invested $1.7 million in 19 apartments through Blue Chip. Now Neil and Michelle Hickman are pinning their hopes on court action to recover some of their losses.
Mr Hickman gave up his career as a successful investment banker and moved his family to New Zealand two years ago, intending to live off his wealth.
Two, immigrants are considered prime protein by some franchise systems. New arrivals who invest large sums are often given special treatment [some expected; some not].
- Several franchisors aggressively market their systems overseas to potential new immigrants using their government’s investor programs as a proven successful fraud technique: a badge of authority.
And three, for perhaps the most understated comment to date from a deeply betrayed person whose wife and three children are living in rented quarters while he goes back to work in Britain to make ends meet:
“Talk about a bad year,” Mr Hickman said.