CBL co-accused in SFO case named as former chief financial officer Carden Mulholland

A man facing fraud allegations after the collapse of $747 million insurance company CBL can today be named for the first time.

He is the firm’s former chief financial officer Carden Mulholland.

The 49-year-old’s interim name suppression lapsed at 3pm today after both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal confirmed to the Herald no further application had been made to extend the gag order.

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal declined Mulholland continued suppression – the third attempt by the businessman to maintain secrecy after earlier unsuccessful bids in the District Court and High Court.

However, the reasons for the courts’ decisions remain suppressed until after Mulholland and former CBL chief executive Peter Harris’ trial starting in September next year.

Both men were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) last December after an investigation began in June 2018, following CBL’s collapse in February that year.

When the NZX-listed insurance firm folded, it had a market value of $747 million.

Mulholland faces charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, obtaining by deception and false accounting.

Harris, 65, who was also managing director of CBL Insurance and the managing director of CBL Corporation, faces five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, two of obtaining by deception, and false accounting.

He has never sought name suppression and has seemingly embraced the criminal proceedings.

“I welcome the opportunity to finally bring the wider picture of the CBL saga before the court,” he has said.

Both men have denied all the charges against them and are currently on bail.

A group of civil proceedings are also running concurrently to the criminal case, including two class actions by CBL’s shareholders.

Also today in the High Court, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers was applying to strike out claims potentially totalling hundreds of millions of dollars after being sued by CBL Insurance’s liquidators.

Both CBL Corporation and CBL Insurance were both placed into liquidation by the High Court in 2018.

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