New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Lengthy prison sentences for breaching Companies Act prohibition

03 May 2018

Two businessmen have been sentenced to more than two years in prison after being found guilty of multiple breaches of the Companies Act and Crimes Act respectively.

David Blake and Lance Ryan had been involved in the setting up and management of Hygiene Foundation Ltd, which went into liquidation in 2013 with over $700,000 in claims from creditors. 

At the time David Blake was prohibited from taking part in the management of a company due to previous convictions for managing a business whilst an undischarged bankrupt.

“These individuals have a history of taking advantage of the public’s commercial goodwill, and breaching regulatory requirements in place to protect the public from incompetent business operators just like them,” says Registrar of Companies Ross van der Schyff.

“Our investigations found that they were taking active steps to hide David Blake’s involvement in the companies from the authorities in an attempt to avoid being detected for acting in breach of his prohibition.

“This kind of offending is an affront to the wider community who conduct business honestly and do meet all their obligations. We are pleased with these sentences, as they reflect just how seriously the Companies Office takes this kind of behaviour,” says Mr van der Schyff.

David Blake was convicted of two charges of managing a company while prohibited, and one charge for promoting a company while prohibited, and sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment.

Mr Blake ran the companies with assistance from his wife, Hayley Blake and Lance Ryan. Mrs Blake and Mr Ryan were also recorded on the Companies Register as the directors of these companies, and also controlled the shareholdings for these companies.

Lance Ryan was convicted of three charges under the Crimes Act for being a party to Mr Blake’s offending and was sentenced to two years and two months imprisonment.

As a result of these convictions, both defendants are prohibited from promoting or taking part in the management of a company under s 382 of the Companies Act 1993 for a further five years.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019