26 Oct 2011

Court hears Bridgecorp staff were told to lie

6:34 pm on 26 October 2011

The High Court in Auckland has heard that two of the directors of Bridgecorp told staff to lie to investors who asked why they were not receiving any payments.

Four former directors of the failed finance company - Rod Petricevic, Robert Roest, Gary Urwin and Peter Steigrad - have pleaded not guilty to a number of fraud-related charges.

Crown lawyer Brian Dickey told the court that the directors knew the company was failing, but continued to approve statements which said Bridgecorp had never missed payments.

The charges were laid after the company which offered term investments to the public collapsed in 2007 owing more than $450 million.

Mr Dickey said Mr Petrecovic and Mr Roest decided at a meeting in March 2007 to tell investors the non-payment was a result of a computer glitch.

He says employees were told to lie, but Investor Services employees refused and other Bridgecorp staff were told to answer the phones.

The trial will resume in a fortnight, and is expected to end in March.