15 Sep 2011

SFO clearing up finance company probes

10:08 am on 15 September 2011

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) says it has made rapid progress over the past 12 months with investigations into collapsed finance companies.

A former property investment company Belgrave Finance is the latest to be prosecuted by the SFO.

Belgrave went into receivership in 2008 and two former directors and an associate face 60 charges relating to $18 million in loans made over three years.

Meanwhile, a dealer and franchisee of Dunedin-based vehicle finance company MTF is facing charges of obtaining nearly $5 million in loans by deception and using the money for personal gain.

Simon McArley, the SFO's general manager of financial markets and corporate fraud, says most of the 20 finance companies that collapsed in the two years to April 2010 have been prosecuted or are being investigated in what has been a hectic year for staff.

He says the public wants to see the issues quickly processed and SFO has been able to do that with the help of some additional resources from the Government.

Mr McArley says decisions on further prosecutions will be made in the next few months.