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Bridgecorp directors front up in court

The directors of failed finance company Bridgecorp heard the charges against them at a depositions hearing in the Auckland District Court today.

Monday, February 15th 2010, 9:18PM

by Paul McBeth

Through his lawyer, non-executive director Peter Steigrad accepted there was a prima facie case to answer, and he will go to trial, according to an NZ Herald report. The directors, including Rod Petricevic, Rob Roest, Gary Urwin and chairman Bruce Davidson each face 10 charges alleging false prospectuses were used in 2006.

Securities Commission prosecutor Brian Dickey told the court the finance company was "in a freefall of deteriorating circumstances" when it issued the prospectus containing false information, and outlined the dates when Bridgecorp missed making its payments.

Dickey said if the prospectus had been accurate people would have been unlikely to invest in the company.

The hearing is expected to last at least a week.

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007 owing some 14,500 investors about $460 million, with about $100 million tied up in a failed property development in Fiji.

Last year, the Companies Office banned Petricevic and Roest from holding any directorships, and Petricevic was also bankrupted.

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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