Published 23 January 2009
Lawyers for 2 Nathans Finance NZ Ltd directors & one former director lambasted the Securities Commission today for issuing a press release on Christmas Eve about their criminal prosecution, giving them little chance to seek interim name suppression.
The Securities Commission said on 23 December it had laid criminal charges and issued civil proceedings against non-executive directors Don Young & Roger Moses and former executive director John Hotchin. The commission also said it had laid criminal charges and issued civil proceedings against “a fourth director believed to be resident in Australia”. Mr Hotchin & Mervyn Doolan founded the listed VTL Group Ltd (previously called Vending Technologies Ltd). Mr Hotchin resigned in April 2007 and Mr Doolan resigned from VTL in January but remained a Nathans director.
In the Auckland District Court today, it turned out Mr Doolan hasn’t been charged – the commission doesn’t know exactly where he is and sought an enlargement of its charges against him to Monday 20 April, the same day the other 3 were remanded to for a pre-depositions hearing.
Counsel for Mr Moses, Paul Davison QC, said the Securities Commission had laid the Securities Act charges on 12 December. His instructing solicitor, Chris Morris, had the charges brought to his attention on Thursday 18 December and the commission went public on Tuesday 23 December.
The commission outlined the charges, including allegations the directors made untrue statements in Nathans’ registered prospectus & investment statement dated 13 December 2006.
That particularly riled Mr Davison: “In my submission, the Securities Commission’s action in doing that was high-handed & inappropriate…. The charges will be denied. The statements in these ads & documents were true & accurate.”
Counsel for Mr Hotchin, Bruce Stewart QC, said his client had returned from the US specifically to fight the charges and would continue to reside in New Zealand.
Mr Young & Mr Moses face 6 charges each and Mr Hotchin 3 charges. Judge David McNaughton remanded the 3 defendants at large.
Want to comment? Email [email protected].
Attribution: Company statement, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.