National Finance 2000 director Allan Ludlow jailed for six years for theft and false accounting

National Finance 2000 director Allan Ludlow jailed for six years for theft and false accounting

Former National Finance 2000 director Trevor Allan Ludlow has been sentenced to six years in jail, which is the longest jail sentence a convicted finance company director has received so far. Ludlow's sentencing follows his conviction for theft and false accounting.

National Finance 2000 was the first of 65 finance companies, mortgage trusts and investment funds to be frozen or collapse between May 2006 and this year, interest.co.nz's Deep Freeze list shows. Used car lender National Finance 2000 owed NZ$25.5 million to 2,026 investors when it was put into receivership in May 2006. About 48% of the money was recovered and repaid.

Ludlow was convicted in the Auckland District Court in July of seven Crimes Act charges relating to theft by a person in a special relationship and false accounting, following a Serious Fraud Office investigation. He was sentenced in the Auckland District Court today.

Ludlow, who represented himself in his trial, was found to have breached the terms of National Finance 2000's Trust Deed, defrauding investors of an estimated NZ$3.5 million. The SFO says this included about NZ$2.7 million of unauthorised or unsecured advances made to his Payless Car group of companies, plus undisclosed related party transactions totalling more than NZ$800,000 to an audio company, a property in Fiji; and land purchased for another company he owned.

It's the second jail sentence handed down stemming from National Finance 2000's collapse. Last November the firm's accountant John Gray was sentenced to 18 months jail after pleading guilty to theft and false accounting, although this was later reduced after an appeal to nine months home detention.

“Concluding the investigations and prosecutions of failed finance companies has been our number one priority over the past 18 months, and this sentence reflects both the seriousness and importance of this work,” SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said.

Feeley said one of the SFO’s key objectives was to focus on cases that would make a difference to restoring investor confidence.

“Kiwi investors understand that criminal proceedings cannot restore the losses they have suffered, but equally we believe that they will take some confidence in knowing that those who have so fundamentally breached investor trust can and will be held to account," Feeley added.

 

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

4 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

So the accountant had his sentence reduced from 18 months jail to 9 months home detention?  No time behind bars... not bad for a multi-million dollar caper.

....we believe that they [investors] will take some confidence in knowing that those who have so fundamentally breached investor trust can and will be held to account," Feeley added. 

Yeah, right.

 

Go easy on the generalizations... "More women judges needed right now."    I agree with the direction this particular judge has taken in this case but sound judgement is not confined exclusively to women judges.  How about Judge Philippa Cunningham discharging without conviction and suppressing the name of the comedian who sexually assaulted his daughter... because he made people laugh!!!  That makes me laugh... cynically.

"Feeley said one of the SFO’s key objectives was to focus on cases that would make a difference to restoring investor confidence."

Good work Mr SFO.

In NZ we seem to have an easy financial regulatory envro that encourages this type of activity. That combined with low finacial literacy , creates a to good to miss oputunity for would be fraudsters.

Keep at it SFO!

If it's still the case in New Zealand that any sentence less than 2 years is automatically cut in half (and I've never understood the logic behind this), then wouldn't a 9 month sentence mean that he only has to spend four months on home detention?! Swimming pool and a well-stocked cellar come to mind...