Nathans directors to be tried in March

Four Nathans Finance directors facing criminal charges will be tried by a judge alone in March next year.

The eight-week trial of Kenneth Moses, John Hotchin, Donald Young and Mervyn Doolan in the High Court at Auckland will begin on March 14.

The Securities Commission has charged the four directors with misleading investors by making false statements in company prospectuses.

They deny all the charges.

Nathans, owned by NZX-listed VTL Group, went into receivership last August owing about 7000 investors $174 million.

The commission alleged that directors made untrue statements in the company's December 2006 prospectus and investment statement, and a prospectus extension certificate in March 2007.

The statements related to Nathans having adequate liquidity, diversified lending, robust lending processes and no bad debts.

The commission also alleged that advertising letters sent to members of the public contained untrue statements.

Mr Hotchin had resigned his directorship by the time the adverts were sent out.

The criminal charges carry a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment or fines up to $300,000.


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