12 Mar 2013

Finance company director faces home detention

9:36 pm on 12 March 2013

A former director of failed company National Finance has been sentenced eight-and-a-half months home detention for making untrue statements in a company prospectus.

In the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday, Anthony Banbrook was ordered to pay $75,000 in reparation.

National Finance went into receivership in 2006 owing more than $24 million to 2000 investors.

The court heard the prospectus underestimated debts and the 66-year-old barrister failed to make basic inquiries about related-party lending.

The Crown prosecutor told the court investors would have relied on Banbrook who was an independent director with commercial litigation experience.

The prosecutor said Banbrook eventually accepted he was grossly negligent but still tried to travel abroad and delayed the court process.

Honest man - lawyer

Lawyer Harry Waalkens says his client is an honest man who is sorry for those who have lost money.

Banbrook is the last of three directors of National Finance to be sentenced.

Carol Braithwaite received a sentence of home detention and her partner, Trevor Ludlow, was jailed.

The Financial Markets Authority says that Banbrook's sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime.

The authority's head of enforcement, Belinda Moffatt, says the sentence is fair but acknowledges the sentence doesn't restore what investors lost.

Russell Walls, who is retired, invested $10,000 - the bulk of his life savings - into the company.

He says the sentence doesn't represent the financial and emotional distress it's caused investors.

Mr Walls says that following the collapse, he received back about half of what he invested.