Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Court hears of 'money merry-go-round'

Jacqui Bradley is accused of swindling investors.  Photo / Greg Bowker
Jacqui Bradley is accused of swindling investors. Photo / Greg Bowker

The story of fraud-accused Jacqui Bradley is one of "greed, deception and desperation", the Crown has alleged in its closing arguments.

Bradley, along with her husband Mike, deliberately and dishonestly obtained investor funds and used the money for their own benefit, Crown lawyer Kristy McDonald QC said.

McDonald said the accused's company, B'On Financial Services, was a "money merry-go-round", and funds were not being invested legitimately like clients believed.

"It was all a lie," McDonald told the jury in the Auckland District Court.

Investors' money was used by the Bradleys for schools fees, the mortgage on their Remuera home, clothes shopping and payments on a BMW, the Crown lawyer argued.

"The accused Jacqui Bradley used investors' funds as if they were her own," McDonald said.

Investor money was also used to pay other clients back, in what is commonly known as a Ponzi-scheme, the lawyer said.

However, according to the Queens Counsel the "scheme" at B'On was unsustainable and cracks began to appear when investors tried to get money out.

The Bradleys then gave outlandish reasons for delays as to why funds were not being paid back on time, McDonald said.

"Investor after investor was given excuse after excuse," she told the jury.

At the end of 2009 - when B'On was voluntary liquidated by the couple - someone at the company smashed a computer and the Bradleys attempted to send seven boxes of documents to Australia, the lawyer said.

While the accused faced charges along with her husband, Mike Bradley died last year aged 63.

Jacqui Bradley is now on trial alone and faces allegations of swindling $15 million from 28 investors.

She has pleaded not guilty to 75 Crimes Act charges.

While one witness during the trial said Mike handled all the management of investor funds at B'On, McDonald said this morning that the couple was running a "joint enterprise" and that Jacqui was very much involved.

- NZ Herald

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