Home detention for Rockforte director

A former director of collapsed Gisborne finance company Rockforte Finance, which lost $3.86 million of investor money, has been sentenced to 11 months' home detention and 200 hours of community work.

In August, Colin Mark Simpson pleaded guilty in the High Court at Gisborne to nine counts of fraud laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The charges, which were laid against Simpson in January, 2012, carried maximum sentences of between seven and 10 years' imprisonment.

Today in the High Court at Wellington, Justice Simon France was satisfied home detention was the appropriate outcome.

Justice France said Simpson's involvement lacked the personal greed and personal excesses seen in other cases.

"You are genuinely remorseful and genuinely motivated to do what you can to correct what has gone wrong."

Simpson had pleaded guilty to charges of theft by person in special relationship, false accounting, obtaining by deception, and false statement by promoter.

Earlier this month the company's receiver, Dennis Parsons of InDepth Forensic, described the dealings that led to Rockforte's collapse as some of the "worst abuse possible".

"Losing $3m in Gisborne is the same as losing $150m in Auckland," he said.

The majority of the $3.86m lost to investors had been reimbursed by the Government through the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

About 10 people had lost a collective $1m, however, as they did not qualify for reimbursement under the scheme.

The Dominion Post