Finance company bosses appeal convictions

Three former bosses of failed finance company Capital + Merchant jailed for fraud relating to transactions worth $28 million are appealing their convictions.

A hearing at the Court of Appeal is under way for Neal Medhurst Nicholls, Wayne Leslie Douglas and Owen Francis Tallentire who are contesting their convictions on a total of eight charges under the Crimes Act brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

All were found guilty of theft by a person in a special relationship in the High Court at Auckland in July.

Nicholls and Douglas, the company's co-founders, were sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, while Tallentire, the company's former chief executive, was sentenced to five years in prison.

The complex investigation was the subject of two trials lasting eight weeks and alleged transactions of around $28m between 2004 and 2006 were in breach of the company's trust deed.

The SFO began its investigation into Capital + Merchant after being alerted by the company's receivers in February 2010.

It was placed into liquidation in November 2007 owing around 7500 investors $167m.


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