Jetsetting businessman Eric Watson, the co-founder of failed Hanover Finance and United Finance, is in the sights of the Securities Commission and a lawyer representing desperate investors.
The commission and Tim Rainey, a lawyer for Hanover investors, were both looking at Mr Watson after the regulatory authority this week froze the New Zealand assets of fellow co-founder Mark Hotchin.
"Eric Watson is a promoter of some of the securities issued by Hanover Group, and he would be one of the people liable if the offer documents contained untrue statements," a Securities Commission spokeswoman said.
The Hanover collapse was bad enough. But what far, far worse in our humble opinion was the ability of Mark Hotchin and Eric Watson to simply walk away from the Hanover wreck, and to flaunt their wealth to those who had lost, in some cases, their life's savings.
Let us make it clear again. We have never knowingly invested in a finance company, nor are we ever likely to. To the best of our knowledge, none of our whanau or our friends lost money to Hanover. We do not have a vested interest. We simply believe that it is grossly unfair that the likes of Hotchin and Watson can extract money from investors to fuel their personal wealth, then have no obligation to those investors when the shit hits the fan as it did in Hanover's case.
That is why we are delighted to see the Securities Commission and the Serious Fraud Office now involved in investigating Hanover. The investors may never get their money back, but if shonky business practices are exposed, and those repsonsible are held to account, they will feel that there has been an element of justice, whatever the cost.