Disgraced Bridgecorp head paid $1.2m to blonde model

By Matt Nippert

Janita Wright was in a 'personal relationship' with Rod Petricevic. Photo / Supplied
Janita Wright was in a 'personal relationship' with Rod Petricevic. Photo / Supplied

A blonde model was having a relationship with disgraced Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevic when he allegedly signed off more than $1 million in "dishonest" payments to her, according to investigators.

Janita Wright received $1.12m for claimed data entry, marketing and consultancy work from her former companion's finance company.

However, a Government investigation failed to find evidence of work Wright had invoiced for, and said the call centre she operated for Bridgecorp had little traffic.

"Any call centre activity would have been in the weekend only and only minimal, with an average of 5 calls per weekend," the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report said.

The MED found at least 41 payments between February 2004 and June 2007 to a company controlled by Wright and that most were personally authorised by Petricevic.

Wright and Petricevic "were in a personal relationship during part of the period" when the payments were made, the report said.

Petricevic was married to his wife Mary at the time.

Wright, who runs the ProSunless spray-tan salon in Panmure, also operates online tanning-supply retailer cosmetologists.co.nz through her company Combined Tanning Supplies Limited.

Official records show Wright took ownership of a new Porsche on February 23, 2007. The vehicle had a recommended retail price of $120,000.

Wright did not return calls yesterday and no one answered the door at her Kepa Rd residence. No one was at her Panmure workplace.

Wright told the Dominion Post this week the money from Bridgecorp was fairly earned: "I worked my butt off for that company, seven days a week."

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007 owing 14,500 investors almost $460m.

Petricevic's lawyer Paul Davison, QC, last night said: "I'm trekking in the Himalayas at the moment, and am not in a position to comment."

- Herald on Sunday

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