Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Allan Hubbard Saga: Supporters head to the exit door

Interesting that in a piece in the Otago Daily Times on the case that Allan Hubbard supporters say they have against the Statutory Management of several of his financial entities and the spectacular crash of South Canterbury Finance indicates that it is unraveling quicker than a mangy cat pulling on a wet ball of wool:

"Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem was yesterday forced to tone down claims her office was investigating an alleged conflict of interest against Securities Commission member Simon Botherway, saying it was looking at the process and procedures followed, not Mr Botherway's actions.

Also yesterday, a formal business connection claimed by the group to exist between Mr Botherway and Christchurch businessman George Kerr was revealed to have ended in December 2004, when Mr Kerr resigned as a director of Brooke Asset Management.

Information on the New Zealand Companies Office website shows Mr Botherway resigned as a director in July 2008 and that Brooke Asset Management is now owned by Macquarie Investment Management Ltd.

The Securities Commission in June recommended Aorangi Securities, seven charitable Trusts and Mr and Mrs Hubbard be placed in statutory management, but it was several days later that Mr Botherway revealed that last year businesses owned by his brother, Jonathan, had been placed in receivership by South Canterbury Finance (SCF), owing $7.8 million.

The Stand By Hubbard campaigners accuse Mr Botherway of having a conflict of interest as a result, a claim that appeared to have some substance when the Office of the Ombudsmen earlier this month agreed to an investigation.

But Ms Wakem contacted media yesterday to emphasise her office was not investigating Mr Botherway and the process was fair and administrative justice was followed in the disclosure of a potential conflict of interest." Otago Daily Times, 22 Sept 2010

Those of you reading my comments on this long-winded saga will know that Allan Hubbard's supporters didn't really have a case from the get-go.

Claims by Paul Carruthers, one of the main drivers of the case supporting Hubbard, have ranged from multiple conflicts of interests, fraud by several politicians and business identities and a conspiracy planned by John Key's Government to set up a bank with his mates in Canterbury.

Claims made by Carruthers and something I was questioning myself, that Simon Botherway had a conflict of interest as his position as a board member of the Securities Commission clashed with its involvement in the statutory management of the Hubbards and the fact that a company owned by Botherway's brother was wound up by South Canterbury Finance, are also looking quite tentative given comments made that the ombudsman is only looking at processes followed rather than the actions of Mr Botherway.

Paul Carruthers submitted the complaint to the ombudsman.

I agree with Carruthers that Botherway's conflict should be investigated. I believe that no matter if he didn't have a "real" conflict of interest - I cant see how he didn't - it is the perception in the public's eye that counts and it is clear that our perception is that Simon Botherway had a conflict at least in that sense.

On Paul, he has spontaneously combusted into the ether after my questioning of him on this post and on a personal Facebook exchange with me yesterday, on the validity and availability of the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Report that his group have placed utmost importance on.

"I never claimed to have it but that doesn't mean I haven't seen it. Why do you want to see it if you are already convinced he is guilty? Are they not paying you enough? Hedging your bets just in case huh?" Facebook Exchange

Paul's personal Facebook page has vanished as have all the comments on the Help Allan Hubbard Facebook page as well as all documents related to his "case" on the site.

Is Paul sitting somewhere in a corner violently rocking back and forth? He doesn't do quiet at all.

Given the slow unraveling of evidence against Allan Hubbard thus far and more to come over the coming weeks - Grant Thornton Report 3 is due next week - I am betting that Paul and his merry band of pied piper followers will disappear into the ether with not much more than a squeak.

Pressure from myself and others seems to be batting the bastards back.

The silence from the affirmative is deafening.

Related Share Investor Reading

Download Grant Thornton Report 1
Download Grant Thornton Report 2

Allan Hubbard Saga: Threats & the Mysterious PWC Report
Allan Hubbard Supporters: Conflict of Interest
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VIDEO: Jenni McManus Explains Allan Hubbard Collapse
Allan Hubbard Statement on SCF Receivership
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Market Alert: South Canterbury Finance to be placed in Receivership
Allan Hubbard: Ignorant Supporters Blissfully Unaware
Thornton Report 2: Allan Hubbard Guilty as Charged
Allan Hubbard: Full TV3 Interview - July 16 2010
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