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Final sentence handed down in Five Star Consumer affair

Media Release

22 August 2013

Final sentence handed down in Five Star Consumer Finance investigation

Neill Allan Williams has today received a sentence of five years’ imprisonment following the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into Five Star Consumer Finance Limited (Five Star).

The 78 year-old appeared in the Auckland High Court this morning for the final sentencing in the long running case. Mr Williams is currently serving three years seven months’ imprisonment on charges previously laid by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Today’s decision will result in an increase in Mr Williams’ term of imprisonment of one year and five months.

Acting Chief Executive of SFO, Simon McArley said SFO is now committed to ensuring any future threat to the economy, equivalent to that of the finance company collapses, is coordinated and effective.

“We move now to addressing threats proactively through intelligence-led detection and inter-agency cooperation – fighting economic crime together to deter future offending and reduce the consequences,” he said.

Five Star traded as a finance company accepting deposits from the public and investing those deposits in consumer and commercial lending.

The former key management figure had a role in approximately $43 million of related party lending that occurred between 2003 and 2007. In the course of undertaking this lending, Mr Williams was one of four defendants who intentionally applied funds in breach of the company’s obligation under its trust deed.

ENDS

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