New Zealand's financial regulator spent $400,000 more investigating and chasing Brian Henry for market manipulation than it got back from him in penalties.
Henry, the founder of NZX-listed Diligent Board Member Services, last month admitted six instances of market manipulation for trades of the company's shares in 2010.
Henry's admission followed the Financial Markets Authority bringing action against him, in the first case of its kind in this country.
Henry was ordered by the High Court to pay $130,000 - which was first to be applied to the FMA's costs.
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A breakdown of the authority's costs, released under the Official Information Act, shows $530,618 for investigating and taking action against Henry. Just over $209,000 of this was litigation costs.
Asked if the FMA believed the $400,000 was money well spent, director of enforcement and investigations Belinda Moffat said: "The FMA carefully considers the costs involved in taking any case and whether it is in the public interest.
"This is an important case about false and misleading conduct. Responding to misconduct that harms the integrity of New Zealand's secondary markets is a priority focus for the FMA.
"In some cases, like this one, our response is litigation. We hope that the judge's decision in the Brian Henry case will not only deter others from manipulating the market, but also raise standards and give investors confidence that FMA will take strong action to uphold the law."
Henry did not wish to comment.