Three failed finance company directors are facing a retrial for alleged crimes committed during the global financial crisis.
Paul Bublitz, Bruce McKay and Richard Blackwood are accused of deliberately misleading investors and potential investors in an attempt to rescue failing investments during the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
The trio's retrial began this morning in the High Court at Auckland before Justice Kit Toogood.
The Financial Market Authority (FMA) charged Bublitz, who was on Mutual Finance's board, with 10 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship and two charges of making a false statement by a promoter.
McKay faces three charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, two charges of making a false statement by a promoter, and one charge of making a false statement to a trustee.
And Blackwood is charged with four counts of theft by a person in a special relationship and one charge of making a false statement by a promoter.
McKay and Blackwood served as directors of Viaduct Capital.
The two firms went into receivership in 2010, owing investors $17 million.
Bublitz allegedly used Mutual Finance and Viaduct Capital to support his property investments, while McKay and Blackwood are accused of helping him.
During his opening address, FMA prosecutor David Johnstone said Bublitz acquired and used two finance companies, not to advance its own business affairs, but instead "in the purpose of attempting to rescue his failing investment".
Johnstone alleged the trio were deliberately misleading investors and potential investors in both companies during the GFC.
The group, he continued, "stole or enabled the theft of a substantial part of the finance companies capital" which the government had contributed to.
The first trial, which lasted nine months, was aborted in May last year after thousands of documents were provided to the defence late.
FMA prosecutors, however, continued to pursue their prosecution against Bublitz, McKay and Blackwood but dropped its case against a fourth director, Lance Morrison, who was also on Mutual Finance's board.
At the time of the first trial's abortion, New Zealand's market watchdog had spent more than $1.65m on external lawyers, investigators and other services in the case, the Herald earlier reported.
The retrial, which is a largely document intensify case, is expected to last several weeks.