Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Belgrave finance director jailed for theft, false statements

Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley said those responsible for financial crime needed to be held to account. Photo / Dean Purcell
Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley said those responsible for financial crime needed to be held to account. Photo / Dean Purcell

Departing Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley says there is "understandable fatigue" with finance company cases as yet another criminal director is sent to prison.

Belgrave Finance director Shane Joseph Buckley was sentenced to three years in jail today after he pleaded guilty in May to more than 20 charges laid jointly by the SFO and Financial Markets Authority.

These included 19 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and four of making false statements.

The charges related to $18 million of loans Belgrave made between 2005 and 2008.

Despite "understandable fatigue in some quarters with yet another finance company sentencing", SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said those responsible for financial crime needed to be held to account.

"It is important to the integrity of the law enforcement to ensure that the legal systems holds those responsible to account for their financial crimes. There are many new financial crimes that the SFO is progressively investigating, but these investigations will not be at the expense of successfully resolving the long tail of financial company prosecutions," Feeley said in a statement.

He announced last month he was leaving the SFO to run Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Belgrave Finance collapsed in May 2008, owing about 1000 investors more than $20m. Debenture holders have got back around 10c in the dollar.

According to a receivers' report filed with the Companies Office last month little more money is likely to be recovered.

Former Belgrave director Stephen Charles Smith and an associate Raymond Tasman Schofield are due to face trial on similar charges to Buckley next April.

- NZ Herald

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