Capital + Merchant directors back in court
Charges against five directors of failed finance company Capital + Merchant alleging they made untrue statements in financial documents may be dismissed because a deadline to file court paperwork was missed.Directors Neal Nicholls, Colin Ryan, Robert Suth
Charges against five directors of failed finance company Capital + Merchant alleging they made untrue statements in financial documents may be dismissed because a deadline to file court paperwork was missed.
Directors Neal Nicholls, Colin Ryan, Robert Sutherland and Owen Tallentire, along with former director Wayne Douglas, face a number of charges laid by the Securities Commission.
Bruce Gray, QC, representing Nicholls and Douglas, argued the Crown failed to deliver its summary of facts within the 21-day deadline -- a compliance breach which could lead to the charges being dismissed.
But Crown prosecutor Nick Williams, acting for the Securities Commission, said there was no time limit and that dismissing the charges would be wrong in law.
He did acknowledge that law firm Meredith Connell had filed the summary of facts two days late due to an administrative oversight but he thought there was scope to move within the Criminal Disclosure Act.
He said there was nothing in the Act which meant the charges could be dismissed.
The men face charges laid by the Securities Commission that they made untrue statements in the company's registered prospectus and investment statement dated August 15, 2006, primarily in respect to misleading investors by misrepresenting investment risks. Nicholls and Douglas appeared in court today. The other directors are based in Australia.
Most of the criminal charges the directors face carry a maximum penalty of five years' jail or fines of up to $300,000.
Capital + Merchant went into receivership in November 2007 owing around $167 million to 7000 investors.
The directors are due to reappear in Auckland District Court on November 8.
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