Details of SCF trial charges released

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 10:33 16/01/2012

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Details of charges laid over alleged fraud amounting to New Zealand's biggest white-collar crime, worth $1.7 billion, have been outlined this morning.

Five individuals face 21 charges filed by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) five weeks ago.

The SFO spent 14 months investigating the case after finance company South Canterbury Finance (SCF) collapsed on August 31, 2010.

The charges include entering the Crown Guarantee Scheme by deception in 2008 (which cost $1.58b), omitting to disclose a related party loan of $64.185m from SCF to Southbury Group and Woolpak Holdings, failing to disclose related party loans of $19.1m from SCF to Shark Wholesalers, and, in 2008 and 2009, breaching the crown guarantee by lending $39m to Quadrant Holding Limited.

The five, who did not appear, were granted name suppression today in Timaru District Court.

A registrar's adjournment was granted until 10am on February 13 to allow for disclosure.

Judge Joanna Maze granted name suppression, to continue until February 13.

The 21 charges each carry a maximum sentence of between seven and 10 years' in prison.

The SCF collapse triggered a $1.6 billion taxpayer bailout.

This followed a failed recapitilisation bid by chairman for life Allan Hubbard and then chief executive Sandy Maier.

Hubbard died on September 2 last year after a car crash.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said he remained a person of interest in the investigation up until his death.

The SFO had also laid 50 fraud charges against Hubbard relating to his private investment vehicles, Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds, but these were dropped after he was killed.

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- The Timaru Herald

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