Ponzi scheme operator jailed for six years

Ponzi scheme operator jailed for six years

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Auckland, July 24, 2019

(Image Courtesy: 123RF/RNZ)

A foreign exchange broker who defrauded his clients of more than $7 million has been sentenced to six years and three months’ imprisonment and a minimum period of imprisonment of two years and 11 months.

The Charges

Kelvin Clive Wood (70) was sentenced today at the Auckland District Court on representative charges of ‘Obtaining by deception’ and ‘Theft by person in a special relationship’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

The Scheme

The Auckland man created a Ponzi Scheme after his foreign exchange brokerage began to suffer net trading losses. He used new investors’ funds to pay other investors their reported gains or to refund investment principal. None of Mr Wood’s clients were aware that their funds were being used to repay other investors.

More than $7 million of investment principal belonging to 18 investors was lost by the defendant over an eight-year period. The defendant knowingly reported fictitious profits and false or inaccurate foreign currency trades to investors.

SFO Statement

SFO Acting Director Rajesh Chhana said, “Mr Wood earned the trust of a group of investors through his personal and professional association with them. His breach of that trust is reflected in the sentence imposed today. The prosecution of such matters holds to account those who fail to conduct business in accordance with the expectations of a reputable market.”

The Financial Markets Authority referred the case to the SFO to investigate in May 2017.

Source: Serious Fraud Office, Auckland

 

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