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Second guilty plea in Five Star Finance case

[For immediate release]

Media Statement:
26 November 2010

Second guilty plea in Five Star Finance case

A second Five Star Finance defendant has plead guilty to charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Nicholas George Kirk, a former director of Five Star Consumer Finance Limited (Five Star) today pleaded guilty to charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, which related to misuse of Five Star funds in breach of its Trust Deed requirements.

Marcus McDonald, also a director of the company, plead guilty to the same charges in late October.

SFO Chief Executive, Adam Feeley, said “This is a great result for us. SFO is making real progress in relation to the finance company collapses with a number of the Office’s major investigations being successfully concluded.”

Mr Feeley said that further decisions would be reached prior to Christmas.

“It has been a year of hard work at SFO which has steadily gained momentum and is now producing important results. Along with the Securities Commission and the Companies Office, we are seeing the benefits of an effective law enforcement response to the financial sector fraud of recent years. With these results comes greater public and investor confidence.”

Former Five Star director Anthony Walpole Bowden and Five Star manager Neill Alan Williams, are also charged by the SFO with offences relating to the misuse of funds.

These defendants are yet to be committed for trial.

Mr Kirk was remanded to appear for sentencing on the 21 December 2010, with Mr McDonald and in conjunction with the sentencing of him, Mr McDonald and other former directors of Five Star in relation to Securities Act charges brought by the National Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development.

ENDS

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