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SFO charges four over Dominion Finance lending

The Serious Fraud Office has charged four people associated with Dominion Finance with criminal offences relating to unauthorised related party lending of more than $20 million.

Thursday, October 27th 2011, 12:26PM 1 Comment

by Jenny Ruth

Dominion founder and director Terry Butler, former director Robert Barry Whale, former chief executive Paul Cropp and a fourth person subject to a non-publication order appeared in the Auckland District Court today to face a total of 14 charges under the Crimes Act of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Six former directors, Butler and his wife Ann, Whale, former managing director Paul Forsyth, chairman Rick Bettle and former director Vance Arkinstall, who used to be the Investment Savings and Insurance Association chief executive, are already facing criminal charges laid in July last year by the Securities Commission, now the Financial Markets Authority.

Those charges relate to offer documents and advertisements which the commission alleges were misleading.

A Dominion Finance subsidiary went into receivership in September 2008 and the parent company went into voluntary administration a month later. Receivers were appointed to subsidiary North South Finance in July 2010 and the three entities owed about $400 million including about $208 million to about 6,000 debenture holders.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley says the charges conclude his office's 12th investigation in failed finance companies and only three, South Canterbury Finance, Rockforte Finance and Hanover Finance, are ongoing. Investigations into these three companies “are well advanced and nearing conclusions,” Feeley says.

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Comments from our readers

On 28 October 2011 at 5:59 pm Michael Donovan said:
So....I have been asked by several people if the SFO is expected to continue with it's current small rally of charging Finance Coy directors with criminal charges aligned with "related party transactions"

More specifically, I have been asked whether the directors of First Step Finance (one of the original Money Managers finance companies) are likely to be charged for the same offences.

I was reminded that First Step Finance was responsible for the absolute loss of literally hundreds of millions of dollars of investors money, so is the Money Managers Action Group pursuing that in any way?
Michael Donovan
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