MR No. 2015 – 45
25 September 2015
A former director of OPI Pacific Finance, David Mark Anderson, has today been sentenced in the Auckland High Court for misleading investors.
Mr Anderson was sentenced to 300 hours community work and ordered to pay AUD $100,000 in reparation to be paid to the company’s receivers.
Mr Anderson is the last OPI Pacific Finance director to plead guilty to two charges under the Securities Act 1978, in a prosecution taken by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). The charges include distributing an advertisement in 2007 which included untrue statements, and signing a registered prospectus in 2007 that included untrue statements.
This month, Mark Lawrence Lacy, Jason Robert Duncan Maywald and Craig Robert White, also directors of OPI Pacific Finance, pleaded guilty to the same charges.
The FMA’s acting director of enforcement and investigations, Paul O’Neil, says today’s sentencing brings the directors to public account and closes the case that the FMA commenced in October 2013.
“In bringing this case to a close, the four guilty pleas and convictions show that each of the directors have accepted responsibility for their failure to fulfil their disclosure obligations to investors,” he said.
“Due to the directors’ actions, investors were misled about the position of the company, resulting in financial losses. These criminal convictions send a strong message to issuers of securities in New Zealand that this type of misconduct will be held to account.”
The defendants are now subject to management bans which prevent them from being a director or promoter, or having any role in the management, of any incorporated or unincorporated body based in New Zealand for a period of five years from the date of their convictions.
The defendants are also required to collectively pay AUD $400,000 in reparations to the company’s receiver for distribution to investors and undertake varying sentences of community work.
“This case demonstrates that the FMA will pursue those it suspects of misconduct, even when they are based outside of New Zealand, in order to protect and promote the integrity of our financial markets,” said Mr O’Neil.
The trial that was scheduled for 5 October 2015 will now not proceed.
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OPI Pacific Finance provided finance to entities involved in commercial property investments and developments. It went into receivership in September 2009 and was put into liquidation in November 2011.
More than 10,000 investors were owed approximately NZD $247 million. As at July 2015, OPI investors had been repaid 30.23 cents in the dollar.
If a person is convicted of an offence against section 58 of the Securities Act 1978 (Securities Act), under section 60E of the Securities Act they are automatically banned for a period of 5 years from the date they are convicted, from being: