As regular readers will be aware LF has for the past 6 months been investigating the corporate dealings of Matthew John Blomfield, a man that the MSM often like to describe using the misnomer “Businessman”.
Blomfield is currently involved in a protracted court battle with New Zealand Blogger of the year Cameron Slater of Whale Oil infamy. These proceedings are in LF’s view little more than a farce. Blomfield having alleged defamation against Slater for a series of posts Slater ran on www.whaleoil.co.nz back in 2012 or there a bouts. Late last year Matthew Blomfield’s media attack dog Bevan Hurley ran a story making public the legal stoush between the pair which is when LF became involved in the public interest.
LF now knows that Hurleys story on Slater and the defamation case was ordered, taylor-made in fact, by Blomfield and designed to attempt to harm Slater and diminish the credibility of the material Slater had earlier posted on his blog site. Hurley and Blomfield go way back, a mutually beneficial relationship by all accounts, with Blomfield having feed Hurley stories for years. Almost without exception, when ever Blomfield needed a little positive media spin, Hurley and the New Zealand Herald were undoubtedly Blomfield’s media vehicle of choice.
It’s this sick little relationship and the machinations concealed behind it that LF want to shed a little light on for our readers. In doing so we’re going to use one particular article that Bevan Hurley penned and had published at Matthew Blomfield’s behest, with information supplied by Blomfield himself, Hurley however, very conveniently never once attributing anything whatsoever to his source, and of course he had to have had a source, not only for the material that Hurley had been given but also the quotes Hurley attributes to the victim of Hurley’s very cleverly crafted smear campaign. They certainly were not recited on demand by the victim himself.
Hurley’s target, a man LF much prefers to call the victim, was one Warren Powell, at the time one of the owners of Auckland’s Hell Pizza master franchise and a man that up until that point had thought himself a friend of Matthew Blomfield, having helped Blomfield out on occasion with the many nasty financial holes he’d dug for himself and others.
LF have chosen this article, penned by Hurley, in particular because it has a direct bearing on Blomfield’s motivations in his defamation case against Cameron Slater. For whatever reason Blomfield having convinced himself that Warren Powell had been the man behind Slaters series of posts. As LF have stated before, Blomfield’s entire case is premised with one objective, to get access to the names of Slater’s sources; in doing so, attempt to slate the blame home to Warren Powell, of course wasting the courts time and tax payer dollars in the process.
Blomfield is likely aware of who was in fact behind Slater’s exposing of his corrupt and fraudulent behaviour. Blomfield undoubtedly knows that it’s not just one person but the many people who he has ripped off, blackmailed, and conned over the years and yet despite that Blomfield has been obsessed with one man in particular, the very same man that Blomfield had earlier conspired to ruin and by all accounts a fact that Blomfield often gloated about;
The many likely reasons behind Blomfield’s obsession with Warren Powell, many of them irrational, no doubt stemming from diagnosable psychiatric disorders, LF will set out a little on that later in the post.
The Hurley article is interesting for a number of reasons, but primarily because LF are able to evidence that Blomfield was the sole author of the events that swept up an entirely innocent Warren Powell, his Companies and a number of his business associates; events that New Zealand Herald Journo Beven Hurley either conspired to misrepresent or in the alternative failed to properly investigate.
LF prefers the first charge against Hurley, in that he likely conspired with Blomfield, to smear Powell and the others Hurley mentions in the piece below, LF will again make the argument for that allegation later in this post:
Hell Pizza feels heat of SFO probe
By Bevan Hurley5:30 AM Sunday Jul 10, 2011
The Serious Fraud Office raided Hell Pizza this week and the Herald on Sunday has learnt more in recent days about the high-profile company’s party culture. But the flamboyant boss of Hell insists that they have done nothing wrong.
Cruising down the Las Vegas Strip in a stretch limousine, Warren Powell gestured towards the drinks cabinet stocked with top-shelf liquor.
Flush with cash from the $15 million-sale of Hell Pizza in 2006, the outspoken director of the chain organised the lavish trip as a thank you to his closest friends.
Powell spent $30,000 on flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas and accommodation and a trip to Disneyland for nine people.
The boss gave instructions to those on the trip in an email to pick up a rental car at Los Angeles and go to “Muscle Beach”.
“Be careful where you leave your cars, what Americans that have not been dragged into the war are thiefs,” he wrote.
In an email obtained by the Herald on Sunday, Powell’s personal assistant wrote: “Otis [Powell] text me last night to let everyone know to pack small!! I am a girl, so it is almost impossible to pack small for me, and I have a suitcase full of Hell condoms for Otis.”
Powell calls the City of Sin “The Happiest Place on Earth” – and even named his son Vegas.
On another trip, Powell poses in a cowboy hat with his partner Oksana.
Yesterday he said the Las Vegas staff trip was paid for from the $15.6 million he and fellow directors Callum Davies and Stu McMullin made from the sale.
He emailed a Flight Centre travel agent to say he needed invoices for “around 30K” for tax purposes.
Powell said he could not remember if it was paid out of the marketing fund – a trust controlled by Hell directors and used to pay for advertising.
“Our marketing fund was in credit and the company had been sold. This was our money.”
ON THURSDAY, Serious Fraud Office investigators swooped on commercial and residential properties in Auckland and Wellington connected to Hell Pizza.
At least six locations, including the pizza chain’s Wellington head office and Powell’s $900,000 Mission Bay townhouse, were searched.
Computers, cellphones and documents relating to several trusts linked to Powell and one of his companies, Abraham Black Limited, were seized.
Powell says the company has done nothing wrong and expresses confidence that neither he nor fellow directors Davies and McMullin are the targets of the investigation.
In a tongue-in-cheek move, Hell yesterday emailed hundreds of thousands of customers offering a “Squeaky Clean Sunday” $13 pizza special to customers who quoted the code “SFO 666”.
It is typical of an irreverent, sometimes provocative, marketing strategy that has made Hell one of New Zealand’s most well-known and controversial brands.
The SFO will go over thousands of documents relating to the company’s parent companies, Hell Revolutions and Hell Franchise Limited.
Its investigators are understood to be looking at transfers from Hell Pizza’s marketing fund.
The fraud office last week received allegations of financial irregularities, which Hell will strenuously deny.
Powell said the company had just come through a full audit from the Inland Revenue Department.
“We are squeaky clean. There is no mischief in our business,” he said. “I am assuming that we are not under investigation.”
Hell Pizza’s 64 franchises pay 5 per cent of their turnover, more than $1 million annually, into the fund used to pay for the controversial advertising campaigns.
Powell said the directors “fight like bejesus” to make sure they get good value for money from the marketing fund for their franchisees.
Invoices obtained by the Herald on Sunday show transactions between Abraham Black Limited and Hell Pizza are expected to make up part of the investigation.
Powell blamed a “rogue” former employee of the company for the allegations. “We fired [him] because he was an absolute ratbag.”
The former employee’s home was also raided by investigators.
SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said it was too early to say whether any fraud had taken place. “We are very careful not to point fingers at any individuals,” he said.
“Our first priority is looking at the evidence and whether it supports that story.”
Powell said it would be business as usual for Hell while the investigation was going on.
Meanwhile, business associates of Hell have rallied in support. Marc Spring, managing director of Trinity Media Group which has done advertising work for Hell, said: “I 100 per cent believe and trust that Warren has done absolutely nothing wrong.
“He is an innocent victim. Warren is only guilty of trying to help out a friend.”
Hurleys article is as aforesaid cleverly crafted, failing to tell the whole story, LF believes deliberately. LF further believes that in the absence of any plausible explanation from Hurley or the New Zealand Herald, given Hurley’s continued association with Blomfield and his many other attempts to fuck Warren Powell and various other victims credibility with the assistance of both Hurley and APNZ, that its a hum-dinger tort just waiting to be lost by the New Zealand Herald and its corporate masters APNZ.
It’s the sort of law suit that, again in the absence of a plausible explanation, could never hope to be won or even defended by either Bevan Hurley or the New Zealand Herald, especially given the many requests the journalist, APNZ’s employee, later received over the past few years seeking corrections and asking for the record to be set straight; the last being sent as recently as April 2014. Interestingly, neither Hurley nor the New Zealand Herald have bothered, to the best of LF’s knowledge, even responding to these emails:
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 3:38PM
To: ‘Bevan Hurley’
Subject: Matt Blomfield
Hi Bevan, I again wish to voice my concern that the articles that you have written for/about Matt Blomfield are misleading.
The articles you have written are misleading in many ways but why do you keep referring to Matt Blomfield as anything more than a contractor to Hell Pizza? In fact why do you even mention Matt and Hell Pizza in the same articles? Furthermore why do you keep mentioning Matt as a “businessman” and not a recently discharged Bankrupt and banned Director. If the article was about me I am sure Bevan, if I had 10 or more failed companies, had been bankrupted and banned as a Director you would refer to me as such (be honest with yourself).
But to not confuse things, can we address Matthews role at Hell Head Office, Matt was NEVER an employee of Hell Head Office, he was NEVER a Market Executive for Hell Pizza.
Matt uses the misleading statements to sell his nonsense.
Hell Head Office has contracted with companies Matt has been involved in but never employed Matt in ANY capacity. To say anything different is a untruth.
I understand you are now high up but can I please have the email addresses of people I can take this matter and others regarding the misleading statements and untruths up with.
Bevan perhaps you could ask your friend Matt if you could disclose your involvement with Matt and the information he has feed you so we can test your ethics as a journalist.
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 02:47:06 +1200
Hello again Bevan
Regarding your story in Herald on Sunday July 10. This article also contains inaccuracies which should be corrected immediately in your online version where possible.
Please note and amend the following:
1. Your article claims Warren Powell was cruising down the Las vegas strip in a stretch limousine. This is inaccurate.
2. You article claims Warren Powell and the Hell Directors were flush with cash from the 15 million dollar sale of Hell. This is inaccurate.
3. Your article says Warren Powell had a personal assistant. This is inaccurate.
4. Note, while I do not have the article with me I believe it was written that Warren Powell owns a GTO car. This is inaccurate
5. The article also said Warren Powell’s cars included a 2008 “Snake”. This is inaccurate
6. The article also said that Warren Powell collected classic or vintage cars. This is inaccurate
7/ The article says that on another trip Powell poses in a cowboy hat. This is inaccurate.
Again, more about that later in this piece. The simple fact is, that whilst Hurley fails to declare the fact that his source was in fact Matthew Blomfield, he also fails to mention that it was Blomfield who had made the false and malicious complaints to the New Zealand Police, the Serious fraud Office (SFO), the Inland Revenue Department in the first place, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, that Blomfield of course, as was his intention, had complete control over.
How can we be sure? Well its simple really, LF have obtained a copy of a seriously twisted email that appears to have been penned and sent by Matthew Blomfield to Warren Powell aprox 12 months before the highly embarrasing police and SFO raids on the businesses and homes of both Mr Warren Powell and the business associate Bevan Hurley himself names, Mr Marc Spring. The email dated the 28th June 2010 correlates with the various allegations mentioned by Bevan Hurley, it also contains admissions and various other insights that would undoubtedly be a gold mine for a criminal psychologist, however the all important paragraph for the purposes of this article reads:
Last night I sat at home in my office a cried like a little kid. I was calling myself a fool and a failure and basically lost all control then I turned to angry as it was the natural progression. I sat and wrote emails to all the franchisees (Otis stole your money to fund my holiday to Australia) to the Serious fraud Office (Otis misused documents and stole from his business partners) Then the Companies Office (Otis is in breach of his judicial duties as a director and should be band) Then Callum and Stu (who’s going to pay me when Otis took all the money why are you letting Otis do this to you) The police (Otis is stealing from his business partners) The IRD (Otis is skimming the stores and is hiding the fact that he owes 300k rwt) and lastly the press (Otis is under investigation by The Police, The IRD, The SFO, The Companies Office, The Franchisees. I ended up with three pages of points dating back to me paying for the trip to Las Vegas out of the Hell Marketing fund.
It was my nuclear bomb. And as I did it I thought to myself now Otis will know how I feel. Every day worrying about what next, every time you here a knock at the door thinking who’s that and what are they going to do to me, Sleepless nights of thinking what will my family do if I go to jail. And then eventually you may or may not end up where I am with no money, no prospects, no dignity and be struggling to support your family. And yes I could end up going to jail. The last part is a different angle which is your pride. It is gone. I depend on others for everything. Mike to try and get me through the legals you to give me money for my family. It is the worst time of my life and I am over it. I just don’t care anymore.
Note: Added Emphasis Lauda Finem’s
Of course Warren Powell, when Bevan Hurley sprung a last minute telephone call asking for comment before publishing, in LF’s view acted as any professional would, simply advising Hurley that it was likely that all the fuss manufactured by “a “rogue” former employee of the company”, that the allegations were false and that there was absolutely no substance to them. Incidentally a claim that appears to have withstood the test of time.
Hurley however in this case has made a serious habit of leaving his (Blomfield’s) victims to the absolute last minute when it came to obtaining their side of Hurley’s seriously biased pieces, undoubtedly just so that he could at least keep up the appearance of balance.
What the reader of Hurleys article never got to read at the time was the fact that Blomfield was up to his neck in a serious financial melt-down, he was busy being bankrupted for seriously dodgy behaviour as a director, behaviour that Blomfield himself obviously believed would see him do prison time, behaviour that would later see him banned as a director. Although once the dust had settled, despite serious protestations by the official assignee and crown lawyers, Meredith Connell, Blomfield would later manage to slip through, obtaining an exemption to run Bell JR Limited (more about that fiasco in our next post):
“As previously conveyed, the Assignee is now concerned that the structure that was in place lacks transparency and that it may pose a risk to the business community and/or the wider public.
Whether or not Hurley was aware that Blomfield’s inside “tip-off” on the police and SFO raids (resultant from complaints Blomfield himself had laid), was actually part of an elaborately planned attempt by Blomfield to blackmail Warren Powell, so as to extort a large sum of cash from him, well LF’s guess is Hurley won’t be at all keen to answer that particular question.
In fact LF suspects that with the New Zealand Herald and Hurleys many failures to respond to Warren Powell’s numerous requests (particularly the more recent, now that LF is involved), is largely down to the fact that they are probably currently packing shit, preparing to head for the fucking Hills.
The attempted blackmailing of Warren Powell is not the only occasion Blomfield has pulled the old “demanding with menace” racket, aka “Blackmail”, “extortion” or “stand-over tactics”. LF have evidence that suggests its very much been a past favourite of Blomfield’s. From what LF can ascertain Blomfield has always been very clever in the way he’s gone about his extortion demands, as one-off’s they might have stood a chance of being explained away as a misunderstanding, but when it becomes routine practice then a very nasty pattern starts to emerge that evidence’s systemic criminal behaviour; more on that in future posts.
When it comes to Blomfield’s obvious obsession with anything Warren Powell its down to three quite common vices, good old fashioned avarice, jealousy and greed. In attempting to put Warren Powell in the frame for Slaters stories LF suspects that Blomfield’s motive is simple enough, Blomfield knows that Powell is the only one of his past victims that he has not completely ruined, at least financially.
Blomfield also knows that Powell likely still has “cash for damages”, so to speak, and its that cash that Blomfield really wants to get his hands on, why else would Blomfield continue to deny himself the undeniable – that Warren Powell is not the person responsible for the hard-drive falling into Slater’s hands or Slaters articles. Bad luck Mr Blomfield, this time round you are most certainly on a hiding to nothing.
The rest of Blomfield’s email (excerpt above), certainly gives an insight into the twisted workings of Matthew John Blomfield’s seriously psychologically impaired mind, in fact if Blomfield hadn’t inflicted so much pain and suffering on his victims LF might even have genuine reason to feel sorry for the bastard, especially if he had been locked away in the psych ward, which is where he well and truly belongs.
With respect to Bevan Hurley and the New Zealand Herald’s outragious behaviour, well that’s a completely different story. The New Zealand Herald, in particular the Herald On Sunday, have a lot of weeding to do, its a publication that has some particulary noxious specimens posing as journalists, the only question is, will it be the New Zealand Courts or APN’s Australian HQ that eventually wield the scrub-cutter. After all, Hurley did go on to complement the above peice with a truck load of articles that, when you have all the facts, were more often than not complete works of fiction, dreamt up with the intention of fulfilling Blomfield’s twisted criminal and fraudulent ambitions by fucking over innocent people who simply wanted justice.
LF is aware of at least two other cases where APNZ publications, including the Herald On Sunday, have been party to perverting the truth (and the course of justice), in one case LF will undoubtedly be of help in proving it “beyond reasonable doubt”. In Blomfield’s case, however, it is LF’s intention to aid in evidencing, to the extent that we are capable, “to the civil standard”, that a twisted friendship, complete with almost Shakespearean duplicity, malice and skulduggery was likely behind Hurley’s many Matthew John Blomfield derived works of fucking fiction.