Published 31 August 2012
Former Belgrave Finance Ltd director Shane Buckley (44) was sentenced to 3 years’ jail in the Auckland District Court yesterday on a range of charges under the Companies, Crimes & Securities Acts.
He pleaded guilty in May to 19 charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office of theft by a person in a special relationship, 4 charges of false statement by a promoter under the Crimes Act, one Securities Act charge of making an untrue statement and one Companies Act charge of making a false statement to a trustee, which had been brought by the Financial Markets Authority in a joint prosecution.
The charges related to more than $18 million of loans Belgrave made to various entities between June 2005-March 2008.
Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley said after sentencing: “While there may be understandable fatigue in some quarters with yet another finance company sentencing, it is important to the integrity of law enforcement to ensure that the legal system holds those responsible to account for their financial crimes. There are many new financial crimes that the Serious Fraud Office is progressively investigating, but these investigations will not be at the expense of successfully resolving the long tail of finance company prosecutions.”
Belgrave’s former finance director, Stephen Smith (43) and an associate, Ray Schofield (49), were committed early this year for trial on similar charges. The trial date is set for 29 April 2013.
Belgrave Finance, incorporated in 2000, provided financial accommodation & mortgage facilities for commercial & residential property developments. It sourced funds for lending primarily from the issue of securities to the public in the form of debenture stock & convertible capital notes.
The company was placed in receivership in 2008 owing about $22 million to 1000 investors. When it was placed in liquidation in April 2010, it was the 20th finance company to collapse in 2 years.
The charges that followed alleged the 3 defendants misrepresented to investors how their investments in Belgrave would be used, and subsequently used those funds in an unauthorised manner.
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Attribution: SFO release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.