SCF's Hutton 'cleared of any criminality'
The South Canterbury Finance (SCF) accountant who had charges laid against him by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) withdrawn says the development clears him of any criminality.
Terry Hutton, formerly charged with two counts of false accounting in relation to the $1.58 billion SCF collapse, said the evidence showed a "lack of any fraudulent activity" on his part.
Hutton's lawyer, Jonathan Eaton, QC, said his client was "as honest as the day is long".
"I know that Mr Hutton and his family are extremely relieved that this ordeal is now at an end.
"No matter how confident one might be that allegations made are unfounded or misconceived, it is nevertheless an extremely demanding and stressful experience to face allegations of criminal offending, and that has undoubtedly been the case for Mr Hutton and his family."
SFO director Julie Read said: "I am satisfied, having given regard to the requirements of the solicitor-general's prosecution guidelines, that the allegations against Hutton should be withdrawn."
One of the charges of false accounting laid against Hutton related to his labelling of a $25 million advance to the late SCF founder Allan Hubbard.
This payment was part of a convoluted deal for Auckland's Hyatt Hotel. A series of ownership shuffles of the Auckland landmark lie at the centre of the SFO's case.
The dropping of charges against Hutton reduces the number of defendants to three from the initial five charged in late 2011.
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