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Bridgecorp's Urwin jailed for 2 years; sentencing for Petricevic, Roest looms

Tuesday 17th April 2012

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Bridgecorp director Gary Urwin has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to 10 breaches of the Securities Act for misleading investors, the second of the failed finance company’s board members to be sentenced.

Urwin was sentenced to jail by Judge Pamela Andrews in the High Court in Auckland today, the National Business Review and New Zealand Herald reported. The Crown was seeking a four-year custodial sentence, while Urwin’s lawyer pushed for home detention.

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007, owing some 14,000 investors about $459 million. Its receivers expect just 3.5 cents in the dollar, or $16.1 million, will be repaid to investors. Company chairman Bruce Davidson pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to home detention and community service, and paid $500,000 in reparation.

Earlier this month, Urwin’s co-directors Rod Petricevic and Rob Roest were found guilty of 18 counts of breaching the Securities Act, Crimes Act and Companies Act, while non-executive director Peter Steigrad was convicted of six counts out of 10 relating solely to the Securities Act.

The Financial Markets Authority, previously the Securities Commission, alleged the men made untrue statements in investment statements and prospectuses between 2006 and 2007.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $300,000. Civil proceedings were delayed until the conclusion of the criminal case.

Petricevic and Roest were held in custody to await sentencing on April 26 and May 18 respectively. Steigrad is on bail and due to be sentenced on May 18.

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