Mum-and-dad investors who lost their life savings in a finance company collapse are furious its former chairman has booked out a swanky waterfront restaurant for a party soon after his release.
Former Nathans Finance chairman Roger Moses served 8 months of a two-year and two-month jail sentence after he was found guilty of breaching the Securities Act.
Now, he has invited friends and supporters to Sails Restaurant in Auckland's Westhaven marina, telling them he wants to celebrate with them.
He has booked out the entire restaurant, which seats 150 people, for next Sunday.
Sails Restaurant charges $13,500 to book at capacity for an entire evening.
Award-winning chef Jason Blackie serves guests a set menu which includes duck leg confit entrees, mains of Angus pure beef fillet on mushroom and onion flan or free range chicken with serrano ham and gnocchi, and concludes with desserts including Tahitian vanilla creme brulee.
The $13,500 does not include alcohol: the restaurant has 200 wines on its list and, even if Moses ordered the cheapest wines for his guests, he might be looking at an additional bill of more than $4000.
A source said many people in the business community were disgusted at the show of excess, and some of his guests had torn up their invitations.
Kenneth Roger Moses was charged, convicted and jailed after Nathans Finance went into receivership in August 2007 owing more than 7000 investors $174 million. Fellow director Mervyn Doolan was also sentenced to prison at the end of their 12-week trial, but director Donald Young received nine months' home detention and 300 hours' community work.
Green Bay pensioner John Addis who, with wife Pamela, lost $29,000 in the collapse, said he was disgusted by Moses' party plans.
"I can understand that his family will be happy to get him back home, but what happened to us was pretty disgraceful." Moses was ordered to pay $425,000 in reparations but Addis said he and his wife received "only a few hundred dollars".
Retired typesetter Addis, 78, had never made big plans for his $29,000 in retirement savings: perhaps replacing his 22-year-old car, perhaps a trip to Australia. But that dream was dashed by the failure of Nathans Finance. More than 7000 people lost money in the collapse.
"It wasn't a vast amount of money but I feel bitter about it. It took years of scrimping and saving."
Moses could not be reached yesterday, and no one was home last night at his Remuera apartment.