Jonathan Graham West appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday to face charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office.
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.
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 Mr 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.
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 11 March 2016.