8 Aug 2014

Milestone for NZ's biggest fraud trial

10:45 pm on 8 August 2014

The Crown finished its closing statement in the biggest fraud trial in New Zealand's history on Friday.

From left: Edward Sullivan, Robert White and Lachie McLeod.

From left: Edward Sullivan, Robert White and Lachie McLeod. Photo: Mytchall Bransgrove

Three of South Canterbury Finance's former directiors, Lachie McLeod, Bob White, and Edward Sullivan face 18 fraud-related charges for the company's collapse in 2010, in the High Court in Timaru.

The crown prosecutor, Collin Carruthers, questioned the defence's claims that the defendants evaded, ignored, or simply broke the rules due to the influence of the company's late chairperson Allan Hubbard, and weren't dishonest themselves.

Mr Carruthers said the defendants enabled Mr Hubbard to run the business as he saw fit, not simply by not restraining him, but by knowingly signing falsified prospectuses for publication, and passing these on to Treasury to gain access to the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

His summary took a week. Defence counsel are expected to begin their closing statements next week.