A Bay financial investment planner who misused almost $1.4 million of his clients funds has been jailed for three years.

Jonathan Graham West, 61, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today in relation to five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

The charges stemmed from West's conduct as director of Matrix Futures and The Investment Centre Limited which he established in Tauranga, with most of his clients living in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

The court heard that initially West's investments saw satisfactory returns from what the Serious Fraud Office described as "sound business practices".

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But between 2008 and 2013 West began making losses and started using funds outside the agreed investment terms, and funds for his own purposes.

Judge Louis Bidois said West's crimes had resulted in devastating losses for his victims.

Particularly the principal victims retired farmers Hayden and Sally Wright aged in their 80s who suffered losses of close to $1 million dollars.

West, a first time offender before the courts,who had already repaid just over $171,000.

Judge Bidois said he struggled to understand the agreed starting point for West offending was five years prison given the scale of the losses, but that was in line with legal authorities.

West was ordered to pay $47, 173.84 reparation immediately.