SCF fraud case adjourned

The five defendants accused in New Zealand's biggest corporate fraud case have been granted name suppression and an adjournment in Timaru District Court.

In a brief hearing Judge Joanna Maze remanded the defendants on bail to reappear on February 13.

The Serious Fraud Office has accused the five in connection with fraud and false accounting practices amounting to $NZ1.7 billion ($A1.3 billion). They are all associated with South Canterbury Finance, a prominent New Zealand firm which has collapsed.

The money includes lost investment funds and a government bailout.

The charges followed a 14-month investigation into a range of transactions involving the Canterbury company.

If convicted, the five face up to 10 years in jail.

In early 2010, company founder and chairman, 83-year-old Alan Hubbard and wife Jean, and their companies Hubbard Management Funds and Aoraki Securities, were placed under statutory management.

On August 31 that year, SCF collapsed and Hubbard, who had been chairman of the company for 20 years, was charged with 50 counts of fraud in June 2011. He died in a car crash in September.

Mrs Hubbard, who was neither a director nor an adviser to the company, has not been charged.

The SFO has suggested that other charges could be brought when current matters have been concluded.

 

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