5 Sep 2015

'White-collar crime is a serious issue'

8:21 am on 5 September 2015

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says a decision to release a convicted fraudster on parole halfway through his jail term is a blow to his many victims.

Garth McVicar.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar Photo: SUPPLIED

Yesterday, the High Court dismissed a bid by the trust for a judicial review of the Parole Board's decision to release Rod Petricevic from jail on Monday.

The former chief executive of failed finance company Bridgecorp was charged with 18 counts of fraud after the company's collapse in 2007.

It owed $460 million to 14,500 investors.

In 2012, he was sentenced to six years and 10 months' imprisonment, before becoming eligible for parole this July.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said he was appalled at the decision and said Petricevic had not properly been held to account for his actions.

"You're getting people like Mr Petricevic, who has stolen a lot of money, from a lot of very good, innocent, hard-working Kiwis and yet he's not been held account by the system at all, and I know a lot of his victims are appalled by his original offences and by the decision [yesterday], and I agree with them," he said.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust had argued Petricevic was likely to commit fraud again.

It said the board had relied solely on a psychologist's report that Petricevic had paid for.

Mr McVicar said the justice system needed to take white-collar crime more seriously.

"White-collar crime is a serious issue in this country but the way it's being treated is appalling. Typical of our justice system, the victims have not been given a voice and justice hasn't been done on their behalf."

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