11 Mar 2013

Finance firm director did not read trust deed, court told

5:53 pm on 11 March 2013

A court has heard how a director of two finance companies that collapsed in 2008 couldn't have intentionally breached the companies' trust deeds because he didn't know what was in them.

Barry Whale is denying charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, alongside his two co-accused, Dominion Finance chief executive Paul Cropp, and another person with name suppression.

Former director Terence Butler is also charged but has terminal cancer and is not standing trial at this time.

Mr Whale's lawyer, Paul Davison, says he is not guilty of any crime as he did not have the knowledge of the requirements within the trust deeds that prohibited related party lending.

He told the court related party lending escaped his attention as it wasn't on his radar.

The Crown says Mr Whale and his co-accused entered into highly imprudent and unauthorised related party transactions, which broke the companies' trust deeds.

Mr Whale says he never read the deeds but admits he should have.

When the two firms and the parent, Dominion Finance Group, collapsed in 2008, $400 million was owed to about 6000 investors.