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Adviser in court

A former financial adviser has appeared in court amid claims he stole $1.4 million from clients.  

Tuesday, February 23rd 2016, 1:04PM

Jonathan Graham West  appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday to face charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office.

He faces five Crimes Act charges of theft by person in a special relationship for his conduct as a director of The Investment Centre Limited and Matrix Futures Limited, which he operated between 1994 and 2013.

West offered financial planning advice, implementation of investment strategies and ongoing reporting on investments.

His clients were mainly in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and initially these clients saw satisfactory returns from sound business practices.

But the SFO alleges that between 2008 and 2013 West offended by using clients’ funds on their behalf but outside the agreed terms or by using his clients’ money for his own purposes.

The alleged offending by West amounts to approximately $1.4 million.

SFO director  Julie Read said: “Even though Mr West had been given some authority to invest on behalf of clients, our investigation alleges he stepped outside those parameters and that misuse of client money is the basis of the allegations in this case. Unfortunately, given his previous sound advice and results, we believe Mr West’s victims had very little reason not to trust him.”

West was remanded on bail without plea and will next appear in the Tauranga District Court on March 11.

West was previously employed in the banking industry before he set up set up The Investment Centre Limited and began offering financial advice. He was a registered financial service provider between 2011 and 2012.

Tags: financial advisers

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