rubiconIt’s more bad news for Arborgen now that investors in the genetically engineered tree company are facing plummeting stocks along with $81 M in fines after a court found the biotech firm had used trickery and deceit to defraud workers out of lucrative incentive packages.

On Jan. 11, The New Zealand Herald reported that stocks in NZX-listed Rubicon, a New Zealand-based part owner of ArborGen, were down 4c this morning to 2c, a fall of 14.81 per cent. The benchmarch S&P/NZX 50 was down 0.46 per cent.

The lawsuit filed in 2010 against ArborGen, part-owned by Auckland-based NZX-listed forestry biotech company Rubicon, alleged that company board members used “deception, misplaced trust and pressure tactics” to convince employees to join the less valuable incentive plan.

The New Zealand Herald also reported on the court ruling on Jan. 10.

Rubicon chief executive Luke Moriarty, a New Zealander named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was criticised by Judge Dickson for his evidence.

“At trial he was never qualified as an expert to render opinion testimony on the issue of valuation or damages … This court views defendant Moriarty’s opinions as not supported by competent, credible evidence and self-serving,” the judgment says.

See our breakdown of the legal statement here.