Published 30 March 2009
The 3 directors of the collapsed National Finance 2000 Ltd had their depositions hearing on prospectus & financial reporting charges adjourned to the end of May today.
2 of the directors, Allan Ludlow & Carol Braithwaite, only instructed lawyers last Thursday for the hearing, which was to have started before justices of the peace in the Auckland District Court today. The third director, Auckland lawyer Tony Banbrook, is representing himself.
The directors were charged last October and the depositions date was set in November. But Jeremy Bioletti, hired by Mr Ludlow last Thursday, said a number of issues still needed to be canvassed. These included whether the hearing should be before JPS or a district court judge, and whether the outcome of a Serious Fraud Office investigation should be reached before a trial.
Mr Bioletti said he had a 6-week trial starting on 4 May and another starting in July, but “it’s not just a question of squeezing this (depositions hearing) in. Because the defendants have been self-represented, from a defence point of view the thing’s been on auto-pilot.”
Mr Banbrook said he, too, could not fit a hearing in any earlier than the end of May and the JPs set a return date of Tuesday 26 May at 10am as a pre-depositions date.
Mr Banbrook also told the JPs – as he waved a weekend newspaper – “There is going to be an application by all the defendants for a permanent stay of the application.” A Sunday paper story about Mr Ludlow was “just a part of the negative publicity about these defendants,” he said.
Colin McCloy & John Waller (PWC) were appointed receivers of National Finance 2000 & 5 other companies in Mr Ludlow’s Payless Cars group in May 2006. The receivers sold the loan book to Cynotech Holdings Ltd (chairman Allan Hawkins) in October 2006.
3 November 2008: National Finance directors’ depositions hearing set for March
25 November 2008: National Finance directors banned as they await Securities Act trial
24 October 2008: National Finance directors remanded on prospectus charges
5 October 2008: National Finance 2000 directors face criminal charges
12 March 2007: National Finance receivers take principal repayments to 40c
8 October 2006: Allan Hawkins buys National Finance (Payless Cars) loan book
U column part 2, 28 May 2006: Handful of National Finance investors get money back now
Attribution: Court hearing, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.