Lawyer pleads guilty to misleading investors

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Mark Lacy, a Gold Coast lawyer has pleaded guilty to two charges laid by New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority, of misleading investors.

In 2007, OPI Pacific Finance, previously MFS Pacific Finance, at which Lacy was a director, issued a prospectus containing false statements.  When the company collapsed in 2009, it owed around $250m to investors.

“This included a failure to disclose to investors adverse changes to the financial position of the company resulting from the advance of A$100 million (NZ$115 million) to MFS Pacific Investments Pty Limited, a related party finance company based in Australia,” said Belinda Moffat, director of enforcement and investigations at the Financial Markets Authority.

According to the Courier Mail, Lacy, now a partner at Hickey Lawyers, will be sentenced on September 18 following the trial which is due to start on October 5.  Lacy will be trialled alongside Jason Maywald, also a former OPI director.

The New Zealand Financial Markets Authority welcomed the guilty pleas of the two former director.
“In pleading guilty, Messrs Lacy and Maywald have accepted responsibility for their failure to fulfil their disclosure obligations to investors,” said Moffat.

OPI, which according to had around 10,000 investors, was put into liquidation in 2011, which is yet to be completed.