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21 Charges Filed by FMA Act Against Man Who Convinced Members of the Public to ‘Invest’ with Him

FMA FMA ActThe Financial Markets Authority has charged a man with offences under the Crimes Act and the FMA Act at the Manukau District Court.

He has been charged with:

  • 16 charges of obtaining by deception under Section 240 of the Crimes Act 1961
  • 3 charges of dishonestly using a document under Section 228 of the Crimes Act 1961
  • 2 charges of obstruction of the FMA’s powers under Section 61 (1) (b) of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.

The maximum penalty for the Crimes Act charges is 7 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for obstruction of the FMA’s powers is a fine of $300,000.

The FMA alleges the man contacted people and convinced them to ‘invest’ by transferring money into bank accounts he controlled. After incorporating a company, he further cold-called other investors to promote a foreign exchange investment service which did not exist.

He obtained just under $100,000 from the people he contacted. Neither he, nor his company was authorised or licensed by the FMA, but he held out he would invest funds on their behalf.

Karen Chang, FMA Head of Enforcement said, “The FMA will take enforcement action where it sees conduct at the perimeter of financial markets that harms investors or could damage the reputation of New Zealand’s financial markets.”

“Investors should always check if the person or company they are dealing with is licensed by the FMA, which provides basic protections.” Ms. Chang said. More information for investors on how to protect themselves from scams can be found here.

The man also obstructed the exercise of the FMA’s powers during the investigation, by giving false evidence in purported compliance with a notice issued to him under section 25 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.

A first hearing is scheduled for 12 June 2019.