Former Waipukurau lawyer Hugh Hamilton (63) was sentenced to 4 years & 9 months’ jail today on 14 fraud charges arising out of the collapse of Belgrave Finance Ltd.
Justice John Faire found Mr Hamilton guilty in May after a trial in the Auckland High Court on charges brought in a joint prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
Belgrave’s 2 Auckland-based directors both pleaded guilty earlier and were jailed for their roles, Shane Buckley for 3 years and Stephen Smith for 4 years. The alleged controller of the company, Ray Schofield, originally from Waipukerau but more recently from Whitford, was granted a stay of prosecution on the grounds of terminal illness, conditional upon review.
The charges related to more than $12 million of loans Belgrave made to various entities related to Mr Schofield & the company between 2005-08.
Mr Hamilton, a legal advisor to Mr Schofield & the 2 directors, was found not guilty on 25 charges – 11 of false statement by a promoter, 11 Companies Act charges of making a false statement to a trustee & 3 theft charges.
18 May 2014: Lawyer guilty on 14 Belgrave charges
16 September 2011: SFO & new authority both lay charges over Belgrave Finance collapse
28 May 2008: Belgrave Finance into receivership
Attribution: FMA release.