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Five Star Finance directors plead guilty to document breaches

Wednesday 6th October 2010 2 Comments

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All four directors of the Five Star group of finance companies have pleaded guilty to 40 charges relating to their promotion and will face sentencing later this year.  

Principal officer Neil Williams and director Marcus Macdonald pleaded guilty earlier this week, adding to Nicholas Kirk's and Anthony Bowden's earlier pleas, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economic Development.

Williams, Macdonald and Kirk accepted fault on three charges of mis-statements in an advertisement or registered prospectus, one charge of false or misleading statements, and 36 charges of offering, distributing or allotting in contravention to the Securities Act.

Bowden didn't plead guilty to the false or misleading statement charge. The civil charges brought by the Companies Office are in addition to the five-year ban they each received. 

The directors also face more than 100 criminal charges relating to $50 million worth of loans, which the Serious Fraud Office says is unrecoverable.  

The criminal charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment apiece.

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Comments from our readers

On 6 October 2010 at 3:48 pm JP said:
Where was the Securities Commission when these guys were presenting a new prospectus? Where were the Auditors, the Trustee? What has never ceased amazing me is that so far with all the debacles on the finance companies, and I do not include those operating under a GGS, no one has taken into account the role of the Securities Commission, the Trustee and the Auditors. It appears in the past the Securities Commission handled the sign off of a new prospectus with less care than they would read a newspaper. Today they are the heavies demanding an investigation here and there. Perhaps had they done their job in the beginning we would not have so many finance companies in trouble today. Yes there will always be some who will do wrong, but this is what the Audit, then the Trustee and the securities Commission should have stopped.
On 8 October 2010 at 9:23 pm Eric Carryer said:
i fully agree where were to organizations that were meant to be keeping check on our invests .Our trustee for MFS whted this company dimantle the good bits we were led to belive were all part off the company that held our ivestments .It then colapses with these two remaining arms still trading .Its time our trustees were held accountable or why even have them
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