One of the two men on trial accused of fleecing two Tauranga women of $645,000 has told a Tauranga jury their decisions to invest their money had nothing to do with him.
Murray Bryon Provan, 73, made the comment while giving evidence during his jury trial in the Tauranga District Court on Friday.
Provan pleaded not guilty to two charges of obtaining by deception laid by the Financial Markets Authority and his co-accused Robert Ian South is defending two charges of theft in a special relationship.
These offences were allegedly committed between June 2011 and February 2015.
The Crown alleges Gay Rowling and Barbara Gilmer were lead to believe they were investing their funds in shares in a software company called Our World New Zealand Limited the accused were involved with.
Instead of a promised huge return on their investment, the two defendants spent the women's money on themselves, Crown prosecutor Sam Davison told the court.
That included Provan buying bonus bonds and paying his outstanding mortgage payments, while South used some of the funds he obtained to repay a loan for a knee operation and also paid a year's rent in advance, the jury heard.
Provan told the jury any discussions with the two complainants about share investments in South's company were "only possible scenarios".
Provan said South was the "ideas man" and the one with the "intellectual property [ownership]" over his product concept which he was working to bring to the market.
Any firm decisions about investing were solely South and the women's business, and had "nothing to do with him", he said.
Financial Markets Authority senior investigator Andrew Scheepers told the court a total of $104,000 in deposits were made to two bank accounts linked to Provan.
During questioning from his lawyer, Provan said he never asked South about the original source of the funds as he had assumed it was to do with South's business dealings.
He had no reason to doubt these deposits were legitimate funds as South was an "honest and genuine person" who he trusted "99 per cent of the time".
He claimed the bank deposits were loans which he expected to have to pay back to South.
Provan claimed he only found out about the amounts Rowling and Gilmer invested and the Our World company during an interview with Scheepers in 2015.
The trial continues today.