I will be watching with interest the fraud case unfolding in January as 5 individuals were charged yesterday with 21 counts of fraud over the collapse of South Canterbury Finance in 2010.
Their dodgy behavior led to the biggest ever loss in a fraud case in New Zealand and has cost the taxpayer $1.7 billion dollars.
Serious Fraud Office CEO Adam Feeley said the 21 charges allege a variety of offences, including theft by a person in a special relationship; obtaining by deception; false statements by the promoter of a company; and false accounting. The charges carried maximum penalties of between seven and 10 years in prison.
These charges come after 14 months of investigation into the late Allan Hubbard and his involvement in the fraud as the head of South Canterbury Finance and readers will know that he was involved heavily in the day to day running of the company so would have been aware of at least some of the charges made against South Canterbury and even if he wasn't aware the buck stopped with him as head of the company.
What is thus far clear is that there has been systematic fraud within SCF for a number of years but what isnt clear is what part the tight five charged played in that fraud.
It will be a tough court case followed closely by the media and the only hope from this individual is that theses charges attract near or at the maximum sentences if the 5 are found guilty.
Adam Feely indicated yesterday that Allan Hubbard was "a person of interest" in the fraud investigation but he was unable to lay charges against him because of his demise and his estate cannot be charged - charges would clearly have been made yesterday had Hubbard still been around to face them.
I wasn't certain that others would be implicated in these fraud charges and Hubbard watchers would then have little idea what sort of justice he would face had he been able to face charges but we will be able to see with some detail what part he may have played as evidence is given from the tight five.
And Allan makes 6 if you like.
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