19 May 2010

Directors 'bought luxury boat with Bridgecorp funds'

8:15 pm on 19 May 2010

New charges laid against Bridgecorp directors Rod Petricevic and Robert Roest include the allegation that they used the finance company's funds to fraudently buy a launch worth $1.8 million.

Under the Crimes Act the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) today laid seven fraud charges against the two men, who are already before the courts on charges relating to the collapse of Bridgecorp; those charges are progressing towards a trial.

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007 owing investors more than $450 million.

SFO director Adam Feeley says that Mr Petricevic and Mr Roest have been charged with the fraudulent acquisition of a luxury boat called the Medici, using $1.8 million of Bridgecorp money.

Business entity believed to be a sham

Another charge alleges the funnelling of money through a business entity called ABb: the SFO says that ABb invoiced Bridgecorp for marketing work and the operation of a call centre, but that it believes the business was a sham.

The earlier charges, originally laid by the Securities Commission, relate to dishonest payments of $1.2 million of Bridgecorp funds, authorised by Mr Petricevic to another business.

The directors are due in court to face the new charges - the last to be laid in this case - in June. If convicted, they could get up to seven years' jail.