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FMA secures guilty verdict

Steven Robertson has been found guilty of dozens of charges relating to the misuse of client money.

Monday, August 19th 2019, 11:35AM

Robertson, who was not registered as a financial adviser, faced 47 criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating millions of dollars of client money.

He has been convicted on 23 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, 11 counts of obtaining by deception and four counts of dishonestly using a document.

He was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on October 30.

Robertson ran Prosper Through Trading.

The Financial Markets Authority said he used that company and others to help clients to trade on the New Zealand and Australian investment markets.

Robertson was found to have misappropriated funds deposited by clients who believed that those funds were to be traded on their behalf, or were paid as consideration for the purported purchase of shares in PTT Limited or an associated entity.

Robertson was also found to have withdrawn funds from credit card accounts of some clients without the client’s authority and knowledge.

But the regulator said he also created schemes to fraudulently take money from clients, promising to trade on their behalf, but instead spending it on himself.

It was reported he spent the money on jewellery, cars, restaurants and renovations, as well as paying off his own mortgage.

He had pleaded not guilty.

Karen Chang, FMA Head of Enforcement, said: “We are satisfied with this verdict, as Mr Robertson’s actions harmed many New Zealanders.”

Tags: court FMA fraud scam

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