Bridgecorp's Roest denied parole

Robert Roest (TVNZ)

A former finance director of Bridgecorp, Rob Roest, has been denied parole.

Roest was convicted of making of false statements in prospectuses issued by Bridgecorp, which collapsed in 2007 owing some $459 million to about 14,500 investors.

He was sentenced to prison for six years and nine months in May 2012, and received extra three months for charges relating to the purchase of a luxury yacht with company funds. 

A Parole Board decision released today said Roest had been misconduct-free and is reported as being a model prisoner. (see the judgment attached)

Roest had been employed in the prisoner canteen workshop and was motivated to undertake NCEA qualifications, the report says, adding that he had trusted position of a “free mover” around the prison.

However, while Roest said he regretted investor loss, he did not accept liability.

“I take full responsibility for my offending. Life is full of decisions and unfortunately I made a number of decisions in my role as finance director of Bridgecorp that had a profound effect on the innocent investors in Bridgecorp and consequently on their families as well as my own family,” Roest had said in a submission to the parole board.

“In my role I had the belief I was working for the benefit of the investors. However on reflection my judgment was detrimental to the new investors who became innocent victims of my offending and as a consequence a number of these investors and their families have suffered,” he says.

Roest said he did not want to be a chartered accountant and said he had the offer of a factory job, which was confirmed in writing.

The board noted that the impact on victims, both financial and emotional, resulting from the collapse of Bridgecorp has been huge and Roest appeared to lack significant degree of empathy for the victims of his offending other than acknowledging their losses.

The board said Roest could reappear before it in January 2015.

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