27 Mar 2009

Former accountant in court for fraud

7:10 am on 27 March 2009

A former accountant from Hawke's Bay has appeared in court on eight charges of fraud and breaches of the Securities Act.

Warren Pickett, 63, of Waipawa, handed himself into the Serious Fraud Office in August last year after two companies he owned went into liquidation.

A creditors' meeting heard that Waipawa Finance and Waipawa Holdings owed about 200 investors almost $20 million, including accumulated interest of nearly $12 million.

The charges laid on Thursday include three of misappropriating more than $3.5 million of investors' funds between 1987 and 2008.

Mr Pickett entered no plea in Napier District Court and was remanded on bail.

The Serious Fraud Office says Mr Pickett's lawyer has indicated his client will plead guilty when he reappears in April.