Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Further charges laid in Belgrave Finance investigation


Media Release

30 November 2012

Further charges laid in Belgrave Finance investigation

An Acacia Bay man, Hugh Edward Staples Hamilton (61) has appeared at the Auckland District Court today charged with fraud following the 2008 collapse of Belgrave Finance Limited (Belgrave).

As a result of a joint prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), Mr Hamilton is facing 19 Crimes Act charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, five charges of false statement by promoter, and 11 Companies Act charges of making a false statement to a trustee.

Mr Hamilton, a former barrister and solicitor, was a legal advisor to the other individuals charged in relation to Belgrave. He no longer holds a current practicing certificate.

Following the collapse of Belgrave in 2008, the FMA (then Securities Commission) made initial investigations into the company before referring the matter to the SFO in June 2010. As a result of the SFO investigation, in September 2011 the SFO and FMA commenced a joint prosecution.

The SFO initially laid 23 fraud charges against three people alleging that between June 2005 and March 2008 they used more than $18 million of Belgrave investors’ funds to make related party loans and in doing so they misrepresented to investors how their funds would be used.

The FMA laid an additional 23 charges under the Securities Act and Companies Act.

Acting Chief Executive of the SFO, Simon McArley explained that additional information resulted in further enquiries into Mr Hamilton’s involvement. The SFO and FMA now allege that Mr Hamilton is an accomplice to the substantive fraudulent representations and use of the Belgrave investors’ funds.

“We believe that it is important to explore the culpability of all involved with financial crime. Professional advisors are not exempt and where we believe they have been complicit in offending, we will seek to bring those individuals to account.” Simon McArley said.

FMA Head of Enforcement, Belinda Moffat, said it is alleged that Mr Hamilton was a party to the conduct of the Belgrave directors particularly with respect to related party lending and statements made to the trustee.

"This case highlights the importance of the role that professional advisers have to ensure that Trustees of issuers are provided with accurate information," Ms Moffat said.

On 30 August 2012, Shane Joseph Buckley (44) a former Belgrave Director was sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty for his role in defrauding the Belgrave investors. Mr Buckley was convicted on 19 charges of theft by person in a special relationship and four charges of false statement by a promoter laid under the Crimes Act by the SFO. Mr Buckley was also convicted on representative charges brought by the FMA under the Securities Act and the Companies Act.

Earlier this year, former Belgrave Finance Director, Stephen Charles Smith (43), and an associate, Raymond Tasman Schofield (49), were committed for trial on similar charges. The trial date is set for 29 April 2013.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news