The Securities Commission has laid criminal charges against Huljich Wealth Management and Peter Huljich over allegations of misleading potential investors about the performance of its KiwiSaver scheme in offer documents.
Huljich stepped down as chief investment officer in March when he admitted to "topping up" the scheme by $150,000 to help investors after making several poor investment decisions.
Former National Party leader Don Brash took on managing the company but left the firm and sold his shares in Huljich last month.
Since then former Auckland City Mayor John Banks has taken over running the company.
Banks, who said he did not know about the "top-ups" at the time, despite being an executive director, said the company would "vigorously" defend itself.
"The proceedings will be vigorously defended and give the company the opportunity to set the record straight. It needs to be remembered that not one investor has lost any money in relation to these allegations," Banks said.
The commission alleges the offer documents contained graphs comparing the Huljich KiwiSaver Funds' investment performance to other competitor KiwiSaver funds but failed to disclose the Huljich performance figures included related party payments made at the direction of Peter Huljich.
"Those payments had a significant impact on the Huljich KiwiSaver Funds' investment performance figures," the commission said.
It also alleges Peter Huljich made untrue statements in the scheme's registered prospectuses by including performance information without disclosing the related party payments.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of three months in prison or a $300,000 fine.
Huljich has 90,000 members in its KiwiSaver scheme and has plans to expand its managed fund operations and move into providing insurance.By Tamsyn Parker Email Tamsyn