BusinessDesk: Restaurant roughing-up helped cut Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevic’s jail time by a year

BusinessDesk: Restaurant roughing-up helped cut Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevic’s jail time by a year

Disgraced Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevic got a “modest reduction” to his jail-time as a warning against vigilante justice after disgruntled investors roughed him up in 2009.

In the High Court in Auckland yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Venning jailed Petricevic for 6 ½ years for his role in misleading investors and knowingly making false statements in offer documents. The judge started at 7 ½ years, but cut 10% from that sentence because it was his first instance of criminal offending at the age of 62 and because “imprisonment will be hard” at that stage of his life.

Judge Venning made a further cut to Petricevic’s jail-time over a 2009 assault where he was roughed up at Auckland’s Moreton’s Bar and Restaurant, and written threats and abuse both he and his family were subjected to.

“While I can understand the strong feelings that victims of your offending might feel, such actions cannot be condoned,” the judge said in his sentencing notes. “In New Zealand we have the rule of law, not the rule of the mob.” See Justice Venning's full sentencing notes here.

Earlier this month Petricevic was found guilty on all 18 counts of breaching the Securities Act, Crimes Act and Companies Act, and was held in custody. The Crimes Act charges carried a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

Petricevic was in a “quite different position to (chairman Bruce) Davidson and (Gary) Urwin, and for that matter (Peter) Steigrad” in that none of them faced charges under the Crimes or Companies Act, the judge said.

Had he only faced charges under the Securities Act, Petricevic would have faced a starting point of 4 ½ years jail out of a maximum sentence of five years. Urwin, who pleaded guilty to 10 breaches of the Securities Act, was sentenced to two years in jail, and has indicated he will appeal the sentence.

Davidson, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced last year to home detention, community service and paid $500,000 in reparation.

Judge Venning accepted “you did not set out to cause any of the investors harm, but you did deliberately make false statements with the intention of inducing people to invest in Bridgecorp at a time when you knew the company was in serious financial trouble.”

“You knew how bad the situation was because you put our own money in it to prop the company from time to time,” he said.

The judge said Petricevic’s offending affected investors “not only financially but emotionally” and that he showed no “true remorse.”

“You may be sorry the investors lost their money, but that is not true remorse,” he said. “You do not accept responsibility for those losses. You still apparently do not consider you did anything wrong.”

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007, owing about 14,500 investors some $459 million.

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.

10 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

I'm all for shortening Rod's sentence.....how long is a piece of rope..?

These guys ran what essentially was a ponzi scheme. The reason they could run it the way they were was because "property always goes up". When the tide goes out you can see whos not wearing pants.

lets get that vigilante and give him 10 years with no parole.
Thats how our justice system works in nz..
mr producadick roughed my bank account up but no charges are pending.

Hey stop that, ngakonui gold ..! I don't wanna go to the big house.....besides, "roughed up" hey come on,......... I straightend his tie a little, and smoothed out the lapels on his jacket...I think he bumped his balls on the corner of one of those round tables..!

 
NZ's judiciary are so far removed from reality it’s unbelievable. The reason Rod was abused was because of the dastardly deeds he committed.
Oh poor old Hotchin, imagine the sympathy he will receive (if it ever gets to court). Has to live on the Goldie, has to have an unordinary amount of money to live on, oh and no body will sit with him in the Koru Club - poor guy
But he still has the $20m Dividend cheque and Rod probably has enough money squirreled away for him to enjoy his retirement in a couple of years

"Rod probably has enough money squirreled away for him to enjoy his retirement in a couple of years"

I wouldnt be too confident of that.

He may have a lot of money squirelled away .. in a family trust
But Trusts and wives and "The Medici" and Spray-painters do not mix well together.

Hope Juanita Wright remembers who Rod is when he gets out you mean..

I think Rod's in a bit of financial strife. He has a big Senior Counsel Legal Bill. Remember he applied for legal aid. Well .. as the settlor of the family trust his wife and sons are probably the beneficiaries, and he and his wife will be the trustees, and by the time the Medici affair gets aired in court, I suspect Mrs P will be an estranged Mrs P and it is possible Mr P will be needing all the legal aid he can get. Because Mrs P will be holding the briefcase. Just wondering who paid his latest legal bill?

Trusts are too risky - a numbered Swiss bank account is more likely...

Justice Venning's logic is very hard to follow on this one.  Some people indulge in some sort of assult on a proven crook so the judge lessens the punishment on the crook.  Hey by that logic if the crook got 10 or 20 people to rough him up he could expect to recieve no sentence?????
I would have thought that there are two crimes here and each should be dealt with seperately.  Petricivec's sentence should be appropriate to his crime and the assulters should be charged and punished accordingly.
Incredible????????