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Accountant for National Finance 2000 sentenced to 18 months jail for theft and false accounting

Accountant for National Finance 2000 sentenced to 18 months jail for theft and false accounting

John Gray, the former accountant for National Finance 2000, was sentenced to 18 months jail today after pleading guilty to theft and false accounting.

National Finance 2000 was the first of 61 finance companies, mortgage trusts and investment funds to be frozen or collapse between May 2006 and August this year, our Deep Freeze list shows.

National Finance 2000 director and owner (Trevor) Allan Ludlow is also charged by the Serious Fraud Office with misuing funds, but has yet to enter a plea. Used car lender National Finance 2000 owed NZ$25.5 million to 2,026 account holders and was put into receivership in May 2006. About 48% of the money was recovered and repaid to investors.

Nelson financial advisor Warren Green was sentenced to 5 1/2 years prison in May 2008 after stealing NZ$2.06 million from 65 investors via his Mobile Finance Centre operation, but it did not register a prospectus. Green was released from prison last month after serving less than half his sentence. Former Five Star Consumer Finance Director Marcus Macdonald pleaded guilty to charges of theft by the Serious Fraud Office last month, but has yet to be sentenced.

The Serious Fraud Office said it welcomed the custodial sentence for John Gray, although Gray has indicated he will appeal the decision and ask for home detention. He remains out on bail pending the appeal.

He had earlier pleaded guilty in the District Court in Auckland to theft by a person in a special relationship, which related to misuse of National Finance funds in breach of its Trust Deed requirements.

Gray also pled guilty to a charge of False Accounting whereby he concealed the true recipient of funds by creating a false document.

SFO Chief Executive Adam Feeley said the custodial sentence was a significant result.

"The delivery of a custodial sentence sends a clear message as to the Courts view on serious white collar crime," Feeley said.

He said the decision would have important ramifications for the additional finance company cases under investigation and prosecution by the SFO.

“Results like this demonstrate that the seriousness of white collar crime. It will be of great comfort to investors, and sends a positive message to the investing public about the integrity of our financial markets, and the consequences for breaching the law."

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4 Comments

A pity they didn't privatise the prison service, that would be about the only good investment around about now.

Maybe we could put razor wire on the fence of Hotchin's place in Paratai Drive, that way the prisoners won't be too dislocated, you know close to family and all.

Nelson financial advisor Warren Green was sentenced to 5 1/2 years prison in May 2008 after stealing NZ$2.06 million from 65 investors via his Mobile Finance Centre operation, but it did not register a prospectus.Green was released from prison last month after serving less than half his sentence.

So Warren Green has served two and half years in jail and got $2.06 million. That equates to $825,000 per annum of jail time  I must start up a finance company, it beats working.  And the SFO thinks this is a good result!  I reckon that Warren Green is the winner in this case.

Hard to blame the SFO for the Parole service's decision...but I can see your point

cheers

Bernard

He wants home detention Huh?

Its time the Crown sent some really strong wake up calls about fraud in NZ .

The sentences should be the same as for someone who robs a Dairy or liquor store in South Auckland . 

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Days to the General Election: 38
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.