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Viaduct Capital & Mutual Finance Judgment

Page last updated: 16 Aug 2019

Defendants: Paul Neville Bublitz (Viaduct and Mutual); Bruce Alexander McKay (Viaduct and Mutual); Richard Timothy Blackwood (Viaduct and Mutual); Lance David Morrison (Mutual only), Peter Louis Chevin (Mutual only)

The defendants have been charged with theft in a special relationship under section 220 of the Crimes Act and making false statements in a prospectus under section 242 of the Crimes Act. With respect to Viaduct only, charges have also been filed under section 377 of the Companies Act in respect of false statements made to Viaduct's trustee.

16 August 2019

COA judgment delivered. Seven of the convictions were upheld, while six were overturned. 

  • Mr McKay’s appeal against conviction was dismissed. 
  • Mr Blackwood’s appeal was allowed, his convictions set aside and he was acquitted.
  • Mr Bublitz remains convicted of four charges of “theft by a person in a special relationship” for misappropriating investor funds.  Mr Bublitz’s original sentence of imprisonment was reduced to a sentence of 11 months’ home detention.  While the four theft charges would usually result in a prison sentence, the Court took into account the two trials and the time he has already served in custody. See media release.
27 March 2019

Mr Bublitz was sentenced to 3 years two months imprisonment for each of the charges, to be served concurrently. See media release.

5 and 21 February 2019

The verdicts and reasons were delivered. Mr Bublitz convicted on four charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and two charges of making a false statement by a promoter. Mr McKay was convicted of three charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, and Mr Blackwood was convicted on four charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

10 May 2017

Woolford J declared a mistrial. The next Court date is a callover on 5 July 2017.

8 August 2016

The trial against Mr Bublitz, Mr McKay, Mr Blackwood and Mr Morrison commenced. Mr Chevin pleaded guilty on the morning of trial to charges under s 220 of the Crimes Act. He has since been sentenced to nine months’ home detention.

12 November 2015

High Court granted an application by Mr Bublitz to adjourn the trial to 8 August 2016.

29 September 2014

Not guilty pleas were entered by each of the defendants.

The matter was transferred to the High Court and a 12 week trial was scheduled to commence on 9 February 2016.

7 May 2014

The defendants made their first appearance in court.

11 March 2014

FMA has filed charges under the Crimes Act and under the Companies Act against directors and another of Viaduct Capital Limited (in receivership) and Ex-MFL Limited (in Receivership) (formerly Mutual Finance Limited) in the District court of Auckland. See media release.