A Tauranga man has been sent back to Australia to face fraud charges totalling almost $12m involving an alleged Ponzi-type investment scheme.
Queensland police have charged Tauranga resident Anthony David Gray, 54, for allegedly defrauding 25 people of a total $11,969,002 between 2010 and 2016.
Gray was born in Australia but has been living in Bethlehem for more than two years.
Appearing in Tauranga District Court yesterday, Gray did not oppose extradition to Australia to face the 25 charges.
Judge Paul Mabey QC signed the extradition order, and Gray was taken from court to Mount Eden Prison where he will stay until he can be flown to Queensland.
Queensland police alleged Gray operated a Ponzi-type investment scheme and persuaded 25 people to invest significant funds into the scheme.
Gray allegedly told investors he was a solicitor and registered financial advisor, but he was unlicensed and his practising certificate with the Queensland Law Society had lapsed.
The scheme was based on short-term bridging loans, which Gray allegedly claimed was secured by real estate with capital and interests guaranteed, the summary of facts said.
Police further alleged Gray ran the investment scheme under a myriad of companies, many of which were based in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
But he primarily operated under a company called Synergy Gray Professional Services Pty Ltd linked to two Australian bank accounts, the summary stated.
Gray is also accused of providing false statements of investments to show the interest growth on the investors' capital and failing to declare where the funds were invested.
It is alleged Gray has not paid back any of the invested funds and that he encouraged complainants to invest more money with him. Two of the 25 complainants were allegedly defrauded of more than $2m each.
Gray first arrived in New Zealand on February 11, 2017, and apart from a brief trip to Fiji in May last year, he has been living in Bethlehem since.
Two Australian arrest warrants were served on Gray in July 2018, the court heard.
A Tauranga police officer will accompany Gray on his flight back to Queensland.