A Tauranga man is facing multiple fraud charges for allegedly offending against multiple victims in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area.
The charges were brought against Johnathon Graham West, 60, by the Serious Fraud Office.
West appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday, where he was remanded in bail without plea until March 11.
West 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.
SFO director Julie Read says West offered financial planning advice, implementation of investment strategies and ongoing reporting on investments.
His clients were situated mainly in the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and initially these clients saw satisfactory returns from sound business practices.
However, 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 Mr West amounts to approximately $1.4 million.
“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,” says Julie.
“Unfortunately, given his previous sound advice and results, we believe Mr West’s victims had very little reason not to trust him.”