Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Prosecutors drop 12 charges in case

The High Court at Auckland during the opening morning of the trial against finance companies Viaduct Capital and Mutual Finance. Photo / Greg Bowker
The High Court at Auckland during the opening morning of the trial against finance companies Viaduct Capital and Mutual Finance. Photo / Greg Bowker

Prosecutors have dropped a quarter of the charges in the Viaduct Capital and Mutual Finance case mid-way through the 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 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.

Eleven of charges were for theft by a person in a special relationship.

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.

- NZ Herald

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