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Ponzi scheme alleged

A former authorised financial adviser who allegedly used investor money to pay out other investors has been charged with theft and dishonestly using a document.

Thursday, September 5th 2013, 1:00PM

A joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Markets Authority resulted in the charges against Andrew Hrothgar Robinson, a director of Strategic Planning Group Limited (SPG) and SPG Investment Company No.1 Limited (SPGI).

He appeared in the Auckland District Court to face five charges laid by SFO under the Crimes Act of theft by person in a special relationship and one charge of dishonestly using a document.

It is alleged Robinson stole investor funds of about $3 million to repay the investments of other investors and to pay for some business and personal expenses between 2010 and 2012. It is also claimed that he made false statements in various investment reports to hide the true picture from investors.

FMA has laid one charge against Robinson under the Financial Service Providers Act for providing a broking service without being registered, and one charge of knowingly making a false statement in his application to become an AFA under the Financial Advisers Act.

FMA has laid additional charges against Robinson and a co-director of SPGI, Mark Andrew Turnock. They each face two charges under the Financial Reporting Act of making false statements in the SPGI financial documents. SFO has not laid charges against Turnock.

The investigation began in December 2012 when FMA received a complaint with allegations about Robinson’s management of client funds through SPG.

Robinson’s status as an AFA was terminated in December 2012.

FMA subsequently referred certain aspects of their investigation to SFO.

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