Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Bradley firm a money merry go round, Crown alleges

Jacqui Bradley appears at the Auckland District court. Photo / Greg Bowker
Jacqui Bradley appears at the Auckland District court. Photo / Greg Bowker

Jacqui Bradley went to "shameful lengths" to seek out new investment when the bank balance at her business was low, a court has been told.

The Crown gave its closing arguments yesterday in Bradley's trial on fraud charges, alleging that her company, B'On Financial Services, was a "money merry-go-round" and funds were not being invested as clients believed.

Instead their money was used to pay other investors back, in what is commonly known as a Ponzi scheme, the Crown said.

"It was all a lie," Crown lawyer Kristy McDonald, QC, told the jury in the Auckland District Court.

But while it was alleged the accused and her late husband, Mike, used client money for the mortgage on their Remuera home and payments on a BMW, the defence said the Crown did not present evidence to show the couple had a lavish lifestyle.

Bradley's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said the Serious Fraud Office did not try to discover if the funds the couple took from B'On were more than they had personally invested in the business. In his closing arguments, the defence counsel reiterated claims that Jacqui Bradley played a more administrative role at the business.

"Mike Bradley was the one that dealt with the receipt of the funds, the investment of those funds, the management of those funds and the reporting to clients in relation to the performance of the funds, not Jacqui Bradley," Mansfield said.

While McDonald argued that the Bradleys had no "pot of gold" held offshore on behalf of investors and there were no documents that proved it existed, Mansfield said the SFO had not properly investigated this.

"The absence of evidence presented by the prosecution does not equate to no offshore investments," Mansfield said.

While the accused was charged along with her husband, Mike Bradley died last year aged 63.

Jacqui Bradley now faces allegations alone of swindling 28 investors of $15 million following the collapse of B'On in late 2009.

She has pleaded not guilty to 75 Crimes Act charges.

Judge Chris Field is due to give his summing up today.

- NZ Herald

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