The Financial Markets Authority says the sentence handed down to Bridgecorp's Rod Petricevic will have future implications.
On Thursday, the 62-year-old was jailed for six-and-a-half years after being found guilty on 5 April of 18 charges under the Crimes, Companies and Securities Act.
Petricevic was the managing director of Bridgecorp when it collapsed in 2007, owing almost $490 million to 14,500 investors.
During sentencing at the Auckland High Court, Justice Venning said Petricevic misled new investors about how well the company was doing and lied to existing investors.
Financial Markets Authority chief executive Sean Hughes says the judge's ruling has set a precedent.
Mr Hughes told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Thursday that courts look at previous cases and this sentence sets the standard of how to deal with financial crimes in future.