SFO charges adviser with $5 million fraud
The Serious Fraud Office has laid criminal charges against a former financial adviser over an alleged $5 million fraud, after being tipped off by the Financial Markets Authority.
Monday, June 11th 2012, 9:42AM 1 Comment
by Niko Kloeten
The SFO laid the charges in the North Shore District Court against Evan Paul Cherry (54), the sole director (prior to July 11 2011) of Albany based investment and financial advisory companies Investment Solutions, ISL Nominees, Trading Strategies, ISL Strategic Investments, and ISL Strategic Investments 100.
Cherry is facing seven charges under the Crimes Act relating to the alleged theft of investor funds and false statements in investor reports.
He had initially sought and was granted name suppression, but this was lifted last Friday.
The ISL companies, which were advertised as providing returns or finding solutions that "generally outperform the market", received approximately $9 million from an estimated 175 investors between about 2001 and February 2007.
However, the SFO alleges that at least $5 million of these funds were not invested in accordance with investment instructions.
SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said, "This case is yet another example of where we are seeing people target family and friends to invest where, we allege, the promises or representations made, bear little relationship to the reality of the investment scheme.
"We strongly urge the public not to let their personal relationship with someone cloud their judgment as to the merits of an investment scheme."
The SFO began its investigation in June last year after the matter was referred to it by the FMA, which had completed an initial analysis during its last days as the Securities Commission.
Cherry, who is neither registered nor authorised under the new financial adviser regulations, began his financial advisory career in about 1997.
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at email@example.com
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