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Petricevic pleads guilty to SFO charges

Former Bridgecorp managing director Rob Petricevic, already serving a six-and-a-half year jail sentence, has pleaded guilty to four fraud charges.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) brought charges against the Petricevic relating to the fraudulent acquisition and financing of a luxury launch, the ‘Medici’, purchased using $3.5 million of Bridgecorp money.

A fraudulent transaction took place to finance, hide or disguise the purchase of Medici from the Bridgecorp Board, the Trustee, and investors, the SFO alleged.

Petricevic also made substantial payments to a Panmure spray tanner, Janita Wright who was to be a witness at the trial.

He admitted four charges at the Auckland District Court this afternoon. Other charges were withdrawn.

Petricevic will now serve an additional four months in prison, on top of his current jail term.

The SFO's prosecution of Petricevic's co-accused Rob Roest, also behind bars, will still go ahead.

Both men are serving six-and-a-half-year jail sentences imposed after a separate trial, brought by the Financial Markets Authority, in which they were found guilty of  misleading investors who lost $459 million when Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007.

More by Caleb Allison

Comments and questions

All that extra SFO funding and work for an extra 4 months in the slammer for a crim already inside? Was it worth the bother? Who has been ripped off here?

Wow, bargain! No wonder he pleaded guilty.

will Mrs Petricevic be getting free tanning for life now ??

4 months less 2/3rds for good behaviour - 4 extra weeks in jail - crime does pay!

Gotta love the Kiwi (in)Justice system. With good behaviour he'll probably be out within three years or so and back in his plush digs with his wife.

Another soft sentence;we need our judicial system to toughen up.

How are these sentences a deterent to white collar criminals ripping kiwis off for millions... its a joke and the jokes on us...

The real criminals are the judges, who pass these insulting-sentences.

By that logic, the real criminals are the government who pass the sentencing laws that the judges have to follow.

Judges don't pull these sentences out of a hat.

What a joke. What am I doing working for a living.

4 months laying in bed watching tv in a small room for $1.8 million where do i sign?? I have seen people go to prison for 30 times longer than that for taking smaller amounts such as in the low tens of thousands, all that hard work done by the SFO and to have an extra 4 months for this clown is a joke, Oh well I hope the FMA puts the life time ban on this guy and his cell mate Robert Roest, you would have to wonder with these guys was it ever about doing good business or was it about doing good greed?

I wholeheartedly agree with all of the comments above, except the suggestion that he'll "probably" be out within three years. It is a certainty. In fact, if he does serve 3 years, it will be extraordinary. It's an absolute travesty. Where is the incentive to actually abide by the law, or even basic conceptions of ethical business practice?

I think he will be getting out and moving in with the sun tanner won't he?? not the Mrs???
And whats with the substancial payments to the tanning lady, thought he was stone cold motherlessly broke and couldn't afford to defend himself in court without legal aid.
now I suppose he will pass away in the slammer, and we the tax payer will have to stump up with the funeral expenses.

Just like a computer that's infected by a virus, our justice system is corrupted.

I wholeheartedly disagree with the tenor of the comments.
He's finally admitted his guilt, and as such is essentially ruined as a businessman, and he will struggle with this forever.
The damage was done with the previous sentence, and as he is already inside for a substantial time the extra few months feels fair and reasonable. If he had not pleaded guilty then I would tend to agree that longer time inside may be needed to get genuine contrition.

Overall we should not think about punishment as revenge - that's not he sort of society we should want to live in. The punishment should be fair, and the admission of guilt in this sort of case should count for a lot.

What a load of rubbish. I wonder what Lance Wiggs would have said if he had been ripped off by the pre-meditated action of this so called businessman.!!! Get real Lance.

He's a recidivist and serial offender and should NEVER be allowed to be involved in business again as he simply will NOT be rehabilitated. Preventative detention is in order.

"...essentially ruined as a businessman...", "...'struggle' with this...", "... a few extra months..." - you sound like a judge Lance. This guys isn't a 'businessman', he's an out and out criminal. He has ruined the lives or hundreds of people. Why shouldn't those people be given a sense of revenge. Are you suggesting he should be counseled and encouraged to reform? Get real for goodness sake.

He has enough ill-gotten gains to live comfortably for the rest of his life.

What it teaches our youth is that giving up a few years of your life working in Aussie mines isn't the only option for trading a couple of years of semi-hardship for good money.

Rather, one can follow the brilliant example of financiers and steal millions in savings off honest folk, then sit around a couple of years in jail rather than slaving away in tough Aussie mines.

Heck, "rehabilitation" might also provide the opportunity to do another degree on the taxpayer's dime.

its as bad as David Henderson getting permission to go to argentina to watch the rugby. Good one OA and New Zealand system

This sort of nonsense just encourages other ethically challenged 'businessmen' to try their luck.

What does official assigned do. How is David Henderson. Allowed to leave the country and who is paying