Supreme Court smacks away Lombard directors' convictions appeal

The former directors had sought a recall of a judgment refusing them an appeal of their convictions for making untrue statements.

The former directors of Lombard Finance have had a second bid to appeal their convictions dismissed because New Zealand's top court says the grounds for recall were “completely misconceived.”

In May last year, former justice ministers Doug Graham and Bill Jeffries, as well as former Lombard boss Michael Reeves and former director Lawrie Bryant, successfully appealed an increase in their sentences by the Court of Appeal.

But the Supreme Court had in October, 2013, refused leave to appeal against the former directors’ convictions.

All four Lombard directors avoided jail time in 2012 after being found guilty of making untrue statements in investment documents and advertisements in late 2007 and early 2008.

Today, the Supreme Court dismissed an application by the directors to recall the 2013 judgment, refusing them leave to appeal their convictions.

The judgment says the grounds on which the recall application was based were “completely misconceived.”

“The recall application was presented without anyone having made a serious attempt to analyse the grounds that were to be advanced or the figures relied on.

 “There has been substantial mischaracterisation of what happened at trial.”

Jeffries and Reeves were each sentenced to 400 hours community work in 2012, while Graham and Bryant were sentenced to 300 hours and each agreed to pay $100,000 to investors.

About $127 million was owed to 4400 Lombard Finance investors when it went into receivership.

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