National Finance director facing court

Former National Finance director Trevor Ludlow. Photo / Dean Purcell
Former National Finance director Trevor Ludlow. Photo / Dean Purcell

The last of four National Finance employees to face prosecution is due to stand trial alone today after her co-accused pleaded guilty to misleading investors.

National Finance director Carol Anne Braithwaite - the former wife of jailed National Finance boss Trevor Ludlow - faces one charge of making untrue statements in a company prospectus. The charge, laid by the Financial Markets Authority, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison or fines of up to $300,000.

Although she made an application for her case to be heard by a jury last month, this was rejected and the trial will be heard by a judge alone.

National Finance went into receivership in 2006, owing investors $21 million. Some investors have recovered 49c in the dollar.

Braithwaite was due to appear in the dock with co-accused Anthony Banbrook, but the latter made an 11th-hour guilty plea last month. Banbrook will be sentenced next month.

Ludlow is serving a sentence of six years and four months after being convicted of charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority.

He was found guilty last July of defrauding investors of an estimated $3.5 million.

Ludlow and Braithwaite once shared a $1.5 million Devonport property and in 2009 Ludlow blamed the stress of the business' failure for the pair's breakup. Both are banned from being directors of a company until April.

National Finance accountant John Gray pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting charges in the Auckland District Court in 2010 and was sentenced to nine months' home detention.

- NZ Herald

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