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FMA welcomes Belgrave Finance guilty plea

Media Release
25 May 2012

The Financial Markets Authority today welcomed the guilty plea of a director of Belgrave Finance.

Shane Joseph Buckley, a director of failed finance company Belgrave Finance Limited (In receivership and In liquidation), pleaded guilty to 25 charges laid by the Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office, in a joint prosecution under the Securities Act, Crimes Act, and the Companies Act.

The charges relate to Mr Buckley's breach of the Securities Act by making untrue statements in documents offering securities to the public, and breach of the Companies Act by making a false or misleading statement to the trustee who is appointed to safeguard the interests of investors in Belgrave secured debenture stock. Other charges brought by the SFO under the Crimes Act are for theft by a person in a special relationship and for false statements made by a promoter.

"The FMA welcomes the early guilty plea which will reduce the cost of the prosecution," said Belinda Moffat, FMA Head of Enforcement.

The prosecution involving similar charges against another director, Stephen Charles Smith, and an associate, Raymond Tasman Schofield, continues. A trial date has yet to be set. The FMA and SFO will continue to work closely together to progress this case.

Background

Belgrave Finance Limited was incorporated in September 2000. The company was purchased by Stephen Smith and Shane Buckley in June 2005.

Belgrave provided loans for commercial and residential property development. Funds for lending were sourced primarily from the issue of securities to the public in the form of debenture stock and convertible capital notes.

Belgrave was placed into receivership in May 2008 owing approximately $22 million to around 1,000 investors.

The company was placed into liquidation in April 2010, the 20th finance company to collapse in two years.

Ends

Contact:
Tony Reid on 021 739 052 or tony.reid@fma.govt.nz