Thursday, May 29, 2008

Peter Marshall deserves longer sentence

The sentencing of Peter Marshall, former head of the failed online broker, Access Brokerage, to 3 years jail today surprised me.

I was expecting a far lesser sentence and perhaps even home detention for a fraud Marshall perpetrated on small shareholder/customers, when he was CEO of the brokerage and it collapsed owing millions at the end of 2004.

Marshall's plea for leniency because of "poor health" showed all the hallmarks of fraud cases heard in the US several years ago over accounting fraud and dubious businesses practices but Judge Bruce Davidson wasn't having a bar of it.

Marshall really didn't deserve the courts leniency anyway as he pleaded not guilty and his defence argued his innocence all the way:

The Crown maintained the offending was significant and "took issue" with any suggestion of real remorse, as Marshall maintained he had done nothing wrong.

While I was expecting a lesser sentence, I personally don't think 3 years is long enough. Marshall's lack of remorse clearly shows he hasn't learnt anything from his experience and for this reason alone the sentence should have started at 5 years.

We don't have to look much further than collapsing finance companies, and their advisors and
Money Managers advocating their clients to invest in dodgy companies to see that financial markets in New Zealand are still largely the domain of the wild west.

We need a few more sheriffs (and judges) in this town to send the message, and make an example of those who would wish to part you with your hard earned moola in nefarious ways.

Related Share Investor reading

Blue Chip's Mark Bryers at top of shaky pyramid
Money Managers Saga-3 story wrap
Money Manager's First Step gives investors the middle finger

c Share Investor 2008