Finance boss in life or death decision

| August 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

The founder of collapsed Dominion Finance says he has a stark choice – pay for the drugs that are keeping him alive and represent himself in court or pay for lawyers and die within weeks.

Terence Butler, the founder of the failed finance company, has terminal cancer.

He, former Dominion Finance director Robert Barry Whale, former Dominion Finance chief executive Paul William Cropp and a fourth person, who has name suppression, face a raft of charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office under the Crimes Act of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Dominion Finance collapsed in September 2008 owing 5937 debenture holders nearly $177 million.

Butler appeared in the High Court at Auckland today without a lawyer and walking with the help of a cane.

He told Justice Timothy Brewer he could either pay for barristers to defend the allegations against him or pay for the drugs that are keeping him alive.

“If I stop taking the drugs my life is measured in weeks,” he said.

Justice Brewer said he understood Butler’s position but he wanted to ensure the accused was in a position to defend himself.

He remanded him on bail so Butler could read the material against him and begin preparing his case.

The SFO alleges that between 2004 and 2008, the group took part in unauthorised related party lending totalling over $20 million, in breach of the trust deeds entered into by Dominion and associate finance company North South.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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