Failed investment adviser Barry Kloogh has broken his silence, saying he has filed for personal bankruptcy and he was aware he had betrayed people's trust.
Kloogh filed papers for his personal bankruptcy yesterday.
Two companies of which Kloogh was sole director, Financial Planning Ltd and Impact Enterprises, were placed into liquidation in August. The first report by the Official Assignee put the sum owed to clients at $12 to $14 million.
"I feel deeply for those who have been affected by my actions. I had no intention for them to go through this," Kloogh said.
"They are good, decent people ... I always had faith in my abilities to rise above the situation as it was.
"I am very aware of the pain, anguish and hurt that I have caused.
"I am very aware of the financial circumstances of those affected by those actions, and I certainly did not want that to happen to them."
The Otago Daily Times has spoken to many of the more than 170 creditors identified so far as being owed money by Kloogh and his companies.
Many had invested with Kloogh for years and were clients of his latest enterprise, Breathe Financial.
Investments ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for many clients represented their life savings.
"It's sickening, I know," Kloogh said.
"But I also know that I have done some bad things and I need to be able to do something about that in the future.
"I can't do anything about it now. I would like to be able to, but I can't."
Court documents showed Kloogh's companies had next to no assets. He said he had few personal assets, hence his filing for bankruptcy, something which he hoped would speed the resolution of his company's financial affairs.
"No money has gone offshore," Kloogh said.
The Serious Fraud Office is continuing to investigate Kloogh and his companies. No charges have been laid against him.
Kloogh said he had co-operated with the Official Assignee regarding the liquidation of his companies and would assist the authorities.
"I would like this to be over and done with very quickly, and I will be doing everything I possibly can to bring this to a close."