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Final two Bridgecorp directors sentenced

Former Bridgecorp financial controller Robert Roest will join the finance company’s former boss Rod Petricevic behind bars but their former colleague Peter Steigrad has been spared a prison sentence.

 
 

FORMER Bridgecorp financial controller Robert Roest will join the finance company’s former boss Rod Petricevic behind bars but their former colleague Peter Steigrad has been spared a prison sentence.

Five former Bridgecorp directors have now been sentenced for misleading over 14,500 investors who were owed about $NZ459 million ($A357 million) when the company collapsed in July 2007.

Investors are likely to recover less than 10 per cent of their money and a further $NZ21 million ($A16.33 million) of capital notes is unlikely to be repaid.

Roest was sentenced on Friday in the High Court in Auckland to six years and six months’ jail for 18 charges – 10 laid under New Zealand’s Securities Act, six under the Crimes Act and two under the Companies Act.

Last month Petricevic was handed the same sentence after both were found guilty of the same offences.

Roest’s lawyer Paul Dacre argued his client had shown remorse but Justice Geoffrey Venning said he was not convinced.

“The first step towards true remorse is accepting he’s done something wrong. He doesn’t get there.”

Mr Dacre also failed to convince the judge that Roest played a lesser role in the company than Petricevic.

“I am not persuaded that your role in relation to the offending within Bridgecorp was materially different to that of Mr Petricevic so that you can be considered any less culpable than him,” Justice Venning said.

Steigrad was sentenced to nine months’ home detention, 200 hours’ community work and ordered to pay $NZ350,000 ($A272,236) in reparations on six Securities Act charges. He was found not guilty on four other Securities Act charges.

Justice Venning said Steigrad, who lives in Australia but must serve his home detention in New Zealand, showed genuine remorse and was the least culpable of the five directors.

He said investors had not only suffered financially because of the collapse of Bridgecorp but also emotionally and psychologically.

Urwin was sentenced in April to two years in jail after pleading guilty to misleading investors.

Davidson was sentenced last October to home detention and ordered to pay $NZ500,000 ($A388,908) in reparation after admitting charges of misleading investors.

 
 

 

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