Lombard directors sentenced to home detention

Lombard Finance directors Lawrence Bryant, Bill Jeffries, Michael Reeves and Sir Douglas Graham. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Lombard Finance directors Lawrence Bryant, Bill Jeffries, Michael Reeves and Sir Douglas Graham. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Court of Appeal has sentenced all four former directors of Lombard Finance to home detention, having accepted the initial sentences were "manifestly inadequate."

In a judgment today Justices Anthony Randerson, John Wild, and Christine French substituted the sentences of community work imposed on the Lombard four. Bill Jeffries was sentenced to eight months home detention and 250 hours community work and Michael Reeves was sentenced to nine months home detention and 250 hours community work, having both initially been sentenced to 400 hours community work.

Sir Doug Graham and Lawrie Bryant were each sentenced to six months home detention and fines of $100,000 apiece. Sir Doug had his sentence of community work reduced to 200 hours from 300 hours.

The men were last year found guilty of making untrue statements about Lombard's position in its offer documents in December 2007.

"In our interim judgment, we concluded that prison sentences should have been adopted as a starting point and that the discounts allowed by the sentencing judge were excessive," the judgment said. "We said that the appropriate final sentences should have been a combination of home detention and community work."

The community work sentences were moderated because of the home detention orders.

The former Lombard directors have already said they plan to take their appeal the Supreme Court.

All four avoided jail time when sentenced in March last year, when Justice Robert Dobson said the offending was much less serious than that involving other failed finance companies such as Bridgecorp. They had been found guilty of making untrue statements in investment documents and advertisements in late 2007 and early 2008 and the Crown had initially sought jail terms.

Some 4,400 Lombard Finance investors were owed $127 million at the time of the receivership in April 2008. The failed company's major asset was a property loan book of 27 loans with a book value of $136.8 million, mostly for bare land subdivisions or development properties. Of the 27, only nine were first ranking security.

- BusinessDesk

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