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Capital + Merchant directors lose appeal

Thursday 20 Dec 2012 6:28 p.m.

Three Capital + Merchant directors have lost their appeals against fraud charges relating to $28 million worth of transactions.

Neal Nicholls, Wayne Douglas and Owen Tallentire were jailed for terms ranging between five years and seven and a half years on charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The directors said the judge got it wrong when assessing what the prosecution had to prove about the level of their intent when dealing with related party transactions.

But three Court of Appeal judges said Justice Edwin Wylie got it right.

"We are satisfied that, taken as a whole, the reasons for verdict amply demonstrate that the intention element was proved beyond reasonable doubt."

They also agreed the sentences were appropriate given the directors' high level of culpability, saying that their actions in one set of transactions involved "the most egregious offending".

Douglas and Nicholls were acquitted on charges over the so-called "hub loans", and Justice Wylie last week denied the Serious Fraud Office leave to appeal the acquittals.

Capital + Merchant was placed into liquidation in November 2007 owing around 7500 investors $167m.

NZN

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