Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Belgrave trio pursued for compensation

The receiver of failed Belgrave Finance is pursuing two of the company's former directors, one of their associates and a Hawkes Bay law firm for financial compensation.

Belgrave Finance went into receivership in May 2008, owing around 1000 investors more than $20 million. It was liquidated in April 2010.

Receiver KordaMentha has instructed Bruce Stewart, QC, and is seeking compensation from former Belgrave directors Shane Buckley, Stephen Smith and an associate, Raymond Tasman Schofield.

The receiver is also taking action against Davidson, Armstrong & Campbell (DAC Legal), which acted on behalf of Belgrave.

Smith, Buckley and Schofield are also facing charges brought by the Financial Markets Authority.

The FMA alleges the directors breached the Securities Act by making untrue statements in offer documents.

The authority alleges that, in substance, Schofield acted as a Belgrave director.

It also alleges the trio breached the Companies Act by making a false or misleading statement to the trustee.

The three defendants are due to appear next month.

The Securities Act charges carry a maximum penalty of five years' jail or fines of up to $300,000 while the maximum penalty for the Companies Act charges is five years' jail or a $200,000 fine.

The Serious Fraud Office has also laid 60 criminal charges against the directors. The charges relate to more than $18 million of loans made by Belgrave Finance to various entities allegedly related to Schofield and the company between 2005 and 2008.

- NZ Herald

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