Ian Ludwig, a former director of NZ Home Loans Auckland Central, was sentenced at the Auckland District Court yesterday to four years and nine months’ jail for fraud totaling $1.3million, the NZ Herald reports.
Ludwig pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud against seven investors in January this year, according to the NZ Herald.
Judge Rob Ronayne said Ludwig had “taken from people who, as with most people, worked very hard indeed to gather together those funds”.
"You have wiped out retirement savings for people at an age and at a stage who are not able to recover from that."
According to the Herald, the judge said Ludwig had repeatedly convinced people to invest their money with the belief they would receive a high rate of return, without fully disclosing the risks involved and then spending it on personal and business expenses.
The Financial Markets Authority
's head of investor capability, Paul Gregory told Fairfax, that although he was unable to comment on the case, he recommended potential investors to seek out local companies and make sure the business was licensed by the authority.
"Investment scams can happen to anyone and it can be hard to tell them apart from a genuine opportunity," he told Fairfax.
"The promise of high returns for low risks should be a warning sign. Scams are also likely to be offered by someone you don't know, or when little or no information is offered in writing.
"People involved in scams can be very credible, with professional-looking websites. If you are told the offer is being made available to a select few and is a 'secret' then you should be very wary. This is likely to try to stop you speaking to a genuine adviser or the authorities."