31 Jan 2012

Crown makes closing argument in Lombard case

7:05 pm on 31 January 2012

The Crown has wrapped up its closing arguments in the criminal trial of four directors of the failed lender, Lombard Finance.

Two former justice ministers, Sir Douglas Graham and Bill Jeffries, along with Michael Reeves and Lawrence Bryant, are accused of making false statements and of misleading investors.

Crown prosecutor Colin Carruthers QC has told the court the directors misled investors in investment statements issued in 2007 and 2008.

He says the essence of the case comes down to the truth or otherwise of those statements.

Mr Carruthers says the documents fail to capture the deteriorating financial position of the company and gave the impression that it was business as usual.

He says no reasonable director could have believed that, considering the troubled state of lending and the company's dwindling cashflows.

Lombard Finance collapsed in April 2008 owing $127 million to about 4,400 investors.

The defence is expected to begin summing up its case on Wednesday.