Convicted financier John Hotchin, former director of Nathans Finance, which collapsed in 2007 owing debenture investors $174.5m, pleaded guilty in the High Court last week to three charges brought by the Securities Commission: making untrue statements in Nathan’s investment documents. He was sentenced to 11 months home detention and BusinessDay (The Dominion Post 9 March) reports that it understood from what was stated in court at sentencing, that it was to be served at a rented property.
Documentation readily accessible on-line to the New Zealand public has often been used by investigative business reporters to probe and raise serious questions concerning suspected and actual white collar criminal activity. They often appear to see their roles to be that of “public watch dogs”, effectively promoting and raising awareness of the need for better community standards in the area of public accountability in business, reparation and sentencing etc. They most certainly do serve the “public good” and thec best of them receive journalism awards. The public needs to recognise the vital role they play in a free and democtatic society like ours in New Zealand. [Read more...]