Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Fraudster analyst 'pulled the wool'

Benjamin Anthony Kiro pleaded guilty to 23 forgery charges, use of a forged document and theft by a person in a special relationship.
Benjamin Anthony Kiro pleaded guilty to 23 forgery charges, use of a forged document and theft by a person in a special relationship.

A man who gave convicted forger Benjamin Anthony Kiro thousands of dollars to invest said he was a "big personality" who "pulled the wool" over people's eyes.

"He is obviously a charismatic person...I just trusted him," said the Auckland man, who did not want to be identified.

"Obviously it does shake your faith in people. It shows you can't always trust people," he said.

"He's made his bed, he just needs to lie in it."

Kiro, a former professional rugby league player, convinced women he met on online dating sites such as Tinder, or businessmen introduced to him by associates, to invest in companies soon to list on the stock exchange. Police say the funds given to him, about $330,000, were never invested.

Kiro also obtained $20,000 by deception from one victim.

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Analyst who faked his CV to get job at FMA admits $350,000 swindle

Dressed in a suit and singlet when appearing in the Auckland District Court yesterday, the 35-year-old was convicted by Judge Anne Kiernan after pleading guilty to 23 charges, including for forgery, use of a forged document, theft by a person in a special relationship and obtaining by deception.

Kiro also forged his academic record from Australian universities and used a false curriculum vitae to get a job at the FMA in 2014. He worked at the capital markets regulator for around three months, which is likely now to cause embarrassment for the organisation.

The FMA could not comment yesterday but its chief executive Rob Everett said last year that he was "gutted" when he learned of the allegations facing Kiro.

"We are conducting a review of our arrangements with all our recruitment agencies and our own processes to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said when Kiro was charged last September.

Some of the charges Kiro has since admitted come with a penalty of up to 10 years' jail.

His lawyer said during yesterday's brief court appearence that he didn't believe home detention was "on the cards" for his client, who is due to be sentenced in April.

According to court documents, Kiro used a forged Fonterra employment contract to obtain a tenancy for an apartment on Gore St, in Auckland's central business district.

It is understood that Kiro lived in the apartment for a short time in 2014.

Kiro, according to court documents, also falsified an offer of employment from AMP Capital as head of investment operations and a contract with AMP Capital in his own name with a $146,000 salary.

As well as this, he also falsified a letter of employment for BT Financial Group.

Kiro is understood to have children and lived for a number of years in Australia, where he played rugby league professionally in Sydney.

The Herald was told yesterday that Kiro had also made an age-representative team in New Zealand more than a decade ago.

- NZ Herald

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