15 Jun 2013

Finance firm directors get home detention

12:00 pm on 15 June 2013

Directors at the failed finance group Dominion Finance have been sentenced to home detention and community work.

Former director Robert Whale had pleaded guilty to charges laid by the Financial Markets Authority over the 2008 collapse of the company that resulted in 6000 investors losing about $177 million.

At the High Court in Auckland on Friday, Justice Dobson sentenced Whale to 12 months home detention and 250 hours community work, and ordered him to pay $75,000 in reperation

Non-executive director Ann Butler was sentenced to nine months home detention, 80 hours community work, and ordered to pay $300,000 in reparation.

The remaining directors, Vance Arkinstall, Richard Bettle and Paul Forsyth, have not yet entered pleas.

Whale's lawyer, Paul Davison QC, said throughout his client's near 40 year career, he'd built up a reputation as a man with integrity. Mr Davison says the true consequences of the convictions are yet to be realised, as Whale still doesn't know whether he can keep working as a lawyer.

Justice Dobson said while Whale wasn't dishonest, he was negligent, and should have known better for a person with commerce and law degrees.