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Former Five Star director pleads guilty to SFO charges

Former director of collapsed finance company Five Star Consumer Finance, Marcus Arthur MacDonald, has pleaded guilty to charges of theft by person in a special relationship at Auckland District Court.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The charges relate to the misuse of Five Star funds in breach of its Trust Deed requirements.

Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief executive Adam Feeley said," This is the first result in relation to a major finance company collapse, and is hopefully indicative of things to come."

Feeley said the SFO was pleased that successful resolutions had been secured in relation to a number of finance company collapses that have occurred since 2007.

"The SFO's strategy of focusing on larger scale cases involving significant losses is helping to reassure the investing public that there is an effective law enforcement response to the financial sector fraud of recent years."

He warned however that there was still a large amount of work to be done.

"We expect to conclude a further four major investigations this calendar year, but some of the more recent matters are likely to continue into next year."

Former Five Star directors Nicholas George Kirk and Anthony Walpole Bowden and Five Star manager Neill Alan Williams have also been charged by the SFO with offences relating to misuse of funds, though they have yet to be committed to trial.

MacDonald was remanded to appear for sentencing on December 22 2010, in conjunction with the sentencing of himself and other former directors in relation to Securities Act charges brought by the National Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development.


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