Former CBL group boss denies criminal charges

The former chief executive of the collapsed CBL group has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Peter Harris denied five charges of theft by person in special relationship, two of obtaining by deception, and one of false accounting in the district court in Auckland.

He did not seek name suppression and was remanded on bail to re-appear at the end of April.

A second person, whose name was suppressed until the end of this month, faced single charges of theft by person in special relationship, obtaining by deception, and false accounting.

The charges relate to their involvement in CBL Insurance, which provided specialist insurance policies for the building industry.

The company was forced into liquidation at the end of 2018 after the Reserve Bank and other regulators raised concerns about its financial solvency.

That triggered the collapse of the broader CBL Group.

Shareholders in the parent company, which listed on the stock exchange in 2015, have started civil action against Harris and other CBL executives to recover losses.

The Financial Markets Authority has also lodged civil proceedings alleging breaches of disclosure rules, and misleading and deceptive conduct.

CBL was worth about $750 million when it collapsed.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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