Guilty plea for financial adviser in $1.4 million fraud

Article – BusinessDesk

March 31 (BusinessDesk) – A financial adviser with clients in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty has pleaded guilty to a $1.4 million fraud at the Tauranga District Court.

Guilty plea for financial adviser in $1.4 million fraud

By Edwin Mitson

March 31 (BusinessDesk) – A financial adviser with clients in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty has pleaded guilty to a $1.4 million fraud at the Tauranga District Court.

Jonathan Graham West was a director of the Investment Centre and Matrix Futures which he ran between 1994 and 2013. He was charged with five offences of theft by a person in a special relationship. West offered clients financial planning, implementation of investment strategy services and reporting on investments.

The SFO says that between 2008 and 2013 he began using clients’ money for his own purposes or using clients’ funds on their behalf but outside the terms agreed.

SFO director Julie Read said “Mr West’s abuse of trust has caused significant harm to his clients who were relying on his expertise and honesty. While we welcome Mr West’s early plea of guilty, his conduct will nonetheless lead to pessimism amongst investors and has the potential to damage New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.

West is due to be sentenced on May 12.

(BusinessDesk)

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