Press Release – Serious Fraud Office
Former director of Rockforte Finance Limited (Rockforte), Colin Mark Simpson (52) was sentenced today in the Wellington High Court to 11 months home detention and 200 hours of community work.
The sentencing follows a guilty plea earlier this month from Mr Simpson to nine criminal charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The charges relate to lending by the failed finance company and the public reporting of that lending. That false reporting also lead to acceptance of the company into the Crown Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
Mr Simpson is one of three directors charged in the Rockforte investigation. SFO allege that a significant portion of investors’ money was used as a source of funding for the directors’ personal business interests in two companies – Gisborne Haulage and Michael Ward 1969 Ltd, which operated the Jean Jones label throughout New Zealand.
Investor losses amounted to approximately $3.8 million.
Acting Chief Executive for SFO, Simon McArley said, “The sentence will give some confidence that those committing financial crime will be brought to account. The collapse of Rockforte had a significant impact on the local community, as well as the New Zealand taxpayers who compensated depositors for their losses.”
The two remaining defendants, Nigel Brent O’Leary and John Patrick Gardner are expected to face trial, commencing 2 October.