The former boss of failed car finance company National Finance 2000 found guilty of theft and false accounting charges, says he will appeal the conviction claiming he has been unfairly targeted.
However this will depend on whether he is successful in appealing a decision which denied him legal aid leaving him to represent himself at his Serious Fraud Office trial.
Allan Ludlow faced seven charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office relating to the misuse of investor funds during his time as director.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of theft in the Auckland District Court last week.
Ludlow has been remanded on bail until next month when a sentencing date will be allocated.
Ludlow said today he had been unfairly targeted by a range of Government prosecuting authorities, including the Serious Fraud Office.
He also claims:
*He did not get a fair trial because he could not properly defend himself without legal advice.
* That his annual income to March 2010, was $4,900.00. This was disclosed to legal services, at the time of his application for legal aid, but the application was declined, he said.
Ludlow was found to have breached the terms of the trust deed under which National Finance operated, defrauding investors of an estimated $3.5 million.
This included about $2.7 million of unauthorised or unsecured advances made to his Payless Car group of companies, undisclosed related party transactions totaling more $800,000 to an audio company; a property in Fiji, and land purchased for another company he owned.
SFO acting director, Simon McArley said the conviction was a positive conclusion to what had been a complex investigation.
"The SFO is committed to rebuilding investor confidence in New Zealand's finance industry and this result demonstrates that those guilty of misapplying investor funds will be held to account," he said.
Trust deeds played an essential role in regulating the finance industry and apparent breaches of these requirements was a common element across a number of companies being investigated by the SFO, McArley said.
Ludlow and fellow directors Carol Braithwaite, Anthony Banbrook are also due to face trial in August on Financial Markets Authority charges for alleged financial reporting breaches.
His co-accused former National Finance accountant John Gray pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting charges in the Auckland District Court last year. He was later sentenced to nine months' home detention.