Business reporter for the NZ Herald

CV faker Kiro appeals jail term

Anthony Kiro is sentenced on fraud charges at Auckland District Court in April Photo / Nick Reed.
Anthony Kiro is sentenced on fraud charges at Auckland District Court in April Photo / Nick Reed.

A fraudster who ripped off investors and faked his CV to get a job with the Financial Markets Authority has tried to shave time off his jail sentence.

Benjamin Anthony Kiro, 35, today appealed the 4.5 year prison sentence he received in April.

A "charismatic" former professional rugby league player, Kiro 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.

The funds given to him, about $250,000, were never invested or were obtained by deception. At the end of April, he had paid only $62,000 of it back.

Kiro's lawyer Asishna Prasad, during today's appeal in the Auckland High Court, argued the sentencing judge did not take into account a $75,000 reparation order which was made.

That money has not been paid but there was an expectation that Kiro would do so after his release from prison, she said.

Prasad also said that while Kiro was willing to go through a restorative justice programme, this wasn't pursued by the Auckland District Court.

At least one victim was willing to go through that process, she told Justice Ed Wylie during the appeal hearing.

Prasad said the sentencing judge, Judge Brooke Gibson, also seemed to take into account fraud charges which Kiro is facing in New South Wales.

Those allegations had not been proven and were irrelevant and prejudicial, she said.

She also argued the judge did not give Kiro an adequate discount for his remorse and previous good character.

Crown lawyer Mark Harborow, opposing the appeal, said the reparation was simply an order that Kiro give back money he should never had in the first place.

On the point of restorative justice, Harborow said the judge had received no advice from the registry that this process could be accessed.

The Crown lawyer rejected the argument that Judge Gibson had taken the Australian charges into account and disputed Prasad's interpretation of the sentencing notes.

The type of offending and the number of victims involved in the case weighed against Kiro getting time off sentence for his previous good character, Harborow said.

Justice Wylie reserved his decision on the appeal.

Kiro pleaded guilty in January to 22 charges including for forgery, use of a forged document, theft by a person in a special relationship and obtaining by deception.

Kiro forged his academic record from Australian universities and used false curriculum vitae to get a job at the FMA in 2014. He worked at the capital markets regulator for around three months.

According to court documents, Kiro also 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.

- NZ Herald

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