Four directors of Lombard Finance will not be jailed after being sentenced to community service today.
Former cabinet ministers Sir Douglas Graham and William Jeffries, along with Lombard's chief executive Michael Reeves and former royal press secretary Laurie Bryant, were sentenced to community service in the High Court in Wellington.
The four had previously been found guilty of four counts of making false statements in documents and advertisements which meant investors were not aware of the company's cash flow problems.
Graham and Bryant have been sentenced to 300 hours community service and have been ordered to pay $100,000 in reparations.
Reeves and Jeffries have been sentenced to 400 hours community service with no financial penalty.
Jeffries is the only one of the four who has confirmed he will be appealing the decision. The other three have 28 days to make a decision and lodge an appeal.
Prime Minister John Key said he will wait until Graham has completed all his legal options before making a decision on his knighthood.
Dozens of investors who lost money when the finance company collapsed in 2008 were in court for the sentencing.
Investor Gino Zambon said after the sentencing: "It's not going to bring anyone's money back - the main thing they have lost their mana, they've lost their reputation."
Tristan Hooker, from Hamilton, wrote a victim impact statement for the judge for sentencing today.
She said Lombard's collapse almost cost her a family. The $30,000 she said she invested a month before the collapse was to pay for IVF. Her family had to pay instead.
She said she is satisfied with the sentences, but what she really wants is an apology from the four men.
Prosecutors called for harsher sentences
The charges carried possible jail terms of up to five years for the men and the Crown had asked for at least two year prison sentences, arguing the men have not accepted they have done anything wrong.
Crown prosecutor Colin Carruthers QC earlier told the court "there is no remorse shown in this case whatsoever".
He said the men have never accepted there was offending and that regret is not enough.
Referring to reports that the men plan to appeal, Carruthers said "that is the antithesis of remorse".
However, defence counsel Paul Davison QC earlier said the four are "honest and honorable men" who "discharged their duties in an exemplary manner".
He said they did not mislead intentionally and the consequence of a conviction that is labelled criminal is in itself a major sanction.
Denham Shale, president of the Institute of Directors, said: "The decision in this case has highlighted the fact that all who aspire to the position of company director must be diligent and need to be aware of their responsibilities."
He said the evidence in the case shows directors have not been fulfilling their clear responsibilities by leaving it to company executives and advisors to make decisions and give advice relative to directors' responsibilities.
Lombard Finance was put into receivership in April 2008, owing $125 million to 4400 investors.
Secured creditors were expected to be repaid less than 24 cents in the dollar.
The trial ran before Justice Robert Dobson from October 18, 2011 to February 2 this year.