19 Jul 2012

Capital and Merchant directors guilty of fraud

7:11 pm on 19 July 2012

Three former directors of failed finance company Capital and Merchant have been found guilty of fraud on some of the charges they faced.

The men - Neal Nicholls, Wayne Douglas and Owen Tallentire - faced a variety of charges following a Serious Fraud Office investigation into four transactions that happened between 2004 and 2006, involving $28 million.

Tallentire was found guilty on two of the four transactions, and not guilty on the other two.

Nicholls and Douglas were also found guilty on three transactions, and cleared on the other one.

Capital and Merchant was placed into receivership in November 2007, owing $167 million to 7500 debenture holders.

It's unlikely any of the money will be returned to investors.

Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley says the scale of the fraud and its complexity makes the case extremely significant.

He says at least $16 million ended up in trusts controlled by the men to further their own interests.

You thought it was going to a company that made good, arms length, sound business decisions about investing in property development, which certainly had some risk to it, in reality this company existed for the defendants to invest in their own business development.