A former Whangarei man who pleaded guilty to serious fraud charges of nearly $2 million has been jailed for more than two years.
Christopher John Collecutt, 57, appeared for sentencing in the Auckland District Court on Friday after earlier admitting to three charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception, and false statement by a promoter.
The charges are over $1,741,835 and relate to infringements while Collecutt was a foreign exchange trader operating under the name CFX Trading, working from his then-Whangarei Heads address.
Collecutt had been trading foreign currency on behalf of 73 investors.
A total of 59 investors, mostly family and friends, lost about $1.7 million through investing with him.
Collecutt predominantly traded foreign currency on behalf of investors located both in New Zealand and overseas in US dollars, Australian dollars and Japanese yen.
From late 2008 onwards, Collecutt created false weekly investment reports that were emailed to investors, calculated commission income on false profits, and used investor funds for his personal benefit.
Investigation into Mr Collecutt's activities by the Serious Fraud Office began in August 2011 and charges were laid in May this year.
Acting chief executive of the SFO Simon McArley said over the past 18 to 24 months, his office had investigated more than six of these Ponzi-type schemes, where investment advisers appeared to have failed to invest funds as promised and produced false statements to disguise losses or missing money.
"This is the second sentencing for this type of offence this week. It should serve as a continuing reminder to approach investment decisions with extreme care.
"Check facts and figures, be suspicious of out-of-the-ordinary returns, get things in writing and be wary of investments based on personal relationships rather than strong verifiable facts," he said.
Another company, CFX Trade Safe, was included in the initial investigation into CFX Trading. Maynard Williams and Joy Collecutt are the co-directors in CFX Trade Safe but they and the company were not implicated in the charges against CFX Trading.