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Boxes botch-up costs Hubbard managers $37,500

Grant Thornton has been ordered to pay Allan Hubbard's widow $37,500 for delaying a High Court hearing.

Aorangi Securities statutory managers Richard Simpson, Trevor Thornton and Graeme McGlinn, of Grant Thornton, are locked in a legal battle with 83-year-old Jean Hubbard – the widow of deceased Timaru financier Allan Hubbard – over the ownership of about $60 million of assets.

The hearing scheduled for October was adjourned within two weeks of the start date because the statutory managers rediscovered 72 boxes of documents "and some ring binders", which they had initially uplifted in mid-2010.

Mrs Hubbard, who is executrix and trustee of her late husband's estate, originally asked for $177,000 in costs.

In his November 7 minute, given to NBR ONLINE today, Justice Lester Chisholm says the adjournment should not have occurred and it does not reflect well on the statutory managers.

"Obviously, the statutory managers should have realised that relevant documents were held by them long before this actually dawned on them, and their conduct could be categorised as careless."

However, the judge says the management is extremely difficult and involves a huge number of documents.

The hearing will now be held in May.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz

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Comments and questions
13

Will the SFO be taking a peek at what's in those large number of boxes? These entities were heavily intermingled with SCF, meaning there will undoubtedly be information supporting the SFO's upcoming prosecution of the directors and officers of SCF, and it may well implicate others in the largest fraud case in NZ history.

In fact, what you're highlighting can work to the advantage of those facing charges, depending on what WAS NOT there in part of the investigations - think about it! It can work both ways. Doesn't look great for the reliability of anything the stats put forward given they had "misplaced" the paper work, FGS....

Your are in dreamland if you think the 21 charges placed against the directors and officers of SCF and 50 charges against Southbury's major shareholder are false and that what is in those boxes might exhonerate them. Dream on...

I neither mentioned false nor exhonerate - your iced the cake with your own interpretation - evidence either way may well have been missing...

Your argument is flawed. To the best of my knowledge there has only been evidence indicating serious and multiple instances of complex fraud. If there is more evidence found in those new boxes or not it will not change that fact.

Tell that to the investors who lost $120,000,000 in SCF shares and those people who have their investments locked in the Hubbard ponzi-like fund.

What's $37,000, when you have charges $5 million plus.

Why doesn't someone in government tells it like it is. A gravy train for the statutory managers, with all care and no responsibility.

I'll tell you why. Government and Treasury have been as thick as thieves in this with their incompetence. Consultants have only been hired to deflect the blame.

If I were the judge, I would have ordered a $2 million credit off their outrageous fees.

The SFO might be too busy on the Wellington Christmas party circuit.

The SFO is based in Auckland. Might you have meant Auckland Xmas parties, perchance?

The biggest fraud cases weren't in the South Island so they are probably on the Timaru xmas party circuit.

Well, next month's fee has just gone up; $37,500 - wow, then there will be their costs. What a joke.

The untold story in this saga is why on earth are the accountants still practicing who ran the books for these entities? Wake up NZICA, investigate who was involved and then discipline your members. Surely you don't believe it was one man on his own - the facts do not bear that out; there were several helpers.