New Zealand Born Million Dollar Con Man featured in docu-drama

22 05 2008

Eric Thompson as Derek Turner
Eric Thompson stars as Derek Turner in The Million Dollar Con Man
“I’ve come from basically the … [bottom end] of the world, New Zealand … there’s only one-way for me to go, that’s up” – Derek Turner.

Through an improbably simple scam involving a phoney hedge fund and the gift of the gab, New Zealand’s biggest conman Derek Turner (Erik Thomson – All Saints, The Alice) took the life savings of scores of people and lived a life of luxury around the world. On Thursday, June 5th at 8:30pm on TV3, his story is told in the docu-drama The Million Dollar Con Man.

Turner’s outlandish career began by overthrowing a company he wasn’t even an investor in and stretched to pitching to rebuild the World Trade Centre. His undoing came in February 2006 when he was convicted in a New York court of defrauding over 60 investors of $90 million. Now, as he sits back in his cell in the Nassau County Correctional Centre, still following the financial markets from a transistor radio, still claiming he will return to trading, Derek Turner can at least lay claim to one title – he is undoubtedly the “King of Con” from down under.

Born and raised in Taranaki, Turner first got into trouble after moving from Auckland to Sydney, where in 2000 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found him guilty of trading without a licence, shut down his operation and ordered him to repay his investors.

Instead, Turner took their money and set up home in the tax haven of the Bahamas where he started up a new hedge fund, Turning International, which collected millions from investors in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, the UK and the US.

However, the good times would not last forever. Turner’s downfall eventually came from the most unlikely of people, an ex-con turned preacher by the name of Barry Minkow (played by Mark Fergusson).

The Million Dollar Con Man is interspersed with interviews from the people intimately involved in the case, from victims who lost millions, to FBI Agents, and even Turner’s un-doer, Minkow himself.

The Million Dollar Con Man is a truly remarkable story of one man’s determination to live a life beyond his means, filled with luxury and prestige. Derek Turner’s story is told on Thursday, June 5th at 8:30pm on 3.




12 responses

5 06 2008

Highly rewarding story – great to have some major players interviewed, with the real kick at the end: the real Derek Guise Turner footage, a man in full vanity/denial, a disturbing series of clips that support the excellent acting of Eric Thompson. He just needs a little hug from dad.

9 06 2008

Saw half of this and would like to see the rest is there anyway I can download it?
Got to give it to Derek for this Con, simple yet genious.

20 07 2008

where can this video by gotten? i cant seem to find it anywhere on the internet..thx

29 07 2008
more to the storey

hi there well as some of you may already know their is a lot more to the story

derek had his plee bargin retracted after we all submitted evidence to the fbi regarding money he had not disclosed

great thanks to the fbi whom were great in helping us at least get him put away for 20 years

if he ever turns up in nz please feel free to punch him in the face from hte nz investors whom have silently lost millions many have also lost all of hteir retirement and some their homes as a consequence

5 08 2008
nikki may

I knew Derek and Man Lin (his wife) as personal friends. We were married in Bahmamas with them hosting the wedding.
Derek’s wife knew nothing of the scam and is a great ladie.
Derek was a good, fun, guy. He just has an illness.
I miss he and his wife.

24 04 2010
Lisa cc

Dear Nikki May :

I am a friend of Derek’s doctor from Taiwan and he is tryng every thing he can to reach Mr. Turner .

If you by any chance receive this massage , please contact me .

My email :

That’d be too kind of you !


Lisa cc

5 08 2008
nikki may

I also would like to see the documentary. How can someone in Canada get to veiw this movie from New Zealand?

5 08 2008
nikki may

One more thing- how is someone with mental illness help others to understand how they tick while rotting away in jail. His brilliant albiet criminal mind should be studied and used as Minko’s was. Why can Minko walk and Derek rot?

12 08 2008
Michael McCormick

I spent time with Mr. Turner while incarcerated at Terminal Island F.C.I. and he was quite an excellent fellow……….I know that he certainly helped me and many others during that period………….He is destined to regain his standing in the world of Financial Trading and the world at large……….You will see, and then perhaps a fitting follow-up docu-drama will be presented by TV3 !

13 08 2008

I also knew Derek in The Bahamas and actually worked for him for a very short time during the WTC2002 campaign. The energy and charisma of the man was undeniable but there was also a definite negative feeling that surrounded him. I lasted less than a week with Turning International before quitting just to get the hell away.

3 10 2008

Was wondering if the doco was on the net anywhere missed it

30 04 2010

What satisfaction it is to have Derek Turner behind bars.

He is a crazy, deluded thief.

Hey Derek…. Why don’t you try calling Mike Bloomberg for some help now eh ?

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