Urwin struck off as chartered accountant

MATT NIPPERT
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013
GARY URWIN: Changed his plea on 10 charges of making untrue statements in investment documents to guilty.
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax
GARY URWIN: Struck off the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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A Bridgecorp director jailed for making untrue statements has also been struck off the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

In April, Gary Urwin was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting 10 Securities Act charges relating to the collapse of failed finance company Bridgecorp.

In a decision made public yesterday, the institute said Urwin's conviction had brought the profession into disrepute.

"In order to protect the public interest and maintain professional standards it is necessary to remove the member's name from the institute's register of members," the decision said.

The collapse of Bridgecorp cost 14,500 investors $490 million, and all five directors have been convicted of lying in company prospectuses.

In his role as a non-executive director Urwin was largely responsible for Bridgecorp's disastrous property investments in Australia and Fiji, which the High Court heard were hidden in another company, Barcoft Holdings. Urwin was a 25 per cent shareholder in Bridgecorp and also held a 50 per cent shareholding in Barcroft.

Urwin's role on both sides of a $76m loan from Bridgecorp to Barcroft - to fund a hotel development at Momi Bay in Fiji - meant the transaction was between related parties. Investors were not told the truth behind the transaction - that many of the loans were overdue and made to related parties.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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