Alleged victims of a multimillion-dollar fraud may never find justice after the man at the centre of it was found dead.
Mark Lawrence Ivil, 58, was found unconscious in his room at the Hotel Grand Chancellor yesterday, surrounded by chemicals. He later died.
Ivil was due to appear in court that morning on charges relating to a more than $4 million property fraud.
Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge says cases like this are hard for complainants to navigate, but there's still a chance they could recover some of their losses.
"They can certainly continue their claim against the estate, and it would take top priority if they continue a case, bring a case, than his intended beneficiaries."
But there's no way for the Crown to further its case.
"The Crown simply appears on a callover in the morning and says 'this case must be discontinued'. You can't bring a criminal case against a dead person's representative."
The death isn't being treated as suspicious.