Prosecutors have dropped a quarter of the charges in the Viaduct Capital and Mutual Finance case, mid-way through the marathon trial.
Paul Bublitz, Bruce McKay, Richard Blackwood and Lance Morrison are on trial in Auckland before Justice Mark Woolford.
Bublitz, McKay and Blackwood have denied charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, making false statements in a prospectus and making false statements to a trustee. Morrison, Bublitz's long-time accountant, denies theft by a person in a special relationship and making false statements in a prospectus.
McKay and Blackwood served as directors of Viaduct Capital while Morrison and Bublitz were on Mutual Finance's board. The firms went into receivership in 2010, owing investors $17 million.
Bublitz, according to prosecutors, allegedly used the two finance companies to support his property investments. The other defendants in the case are accused of helping him.
The men deliberately misled investors and potential investors of Viaduct and Mutual by failing to disclose a series of related party transactions entered into for their benefit rather than the benefit of the finance company, the Crown alleged when the case began in early August.
The trial is expected to take up to 12 weeks.
But on Wednesday prosecutors told the court that the Crown would not offer any further evidence on 12 of the 49 charges laid in the case.
It said the defendants should be discharged on those counts.
Eleven of these charges were for theft by a person in a special relationship and alleged that the defendants misused investor funds in ways other than in accordance with Mutual's trust deed.
The remaining charge which the Crown will not pursue alleged that Bublitz and McKay furnished a misleading statement to Viaduct's trustee in a 2009 letter.