A former foreign exchange trader has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after defrauding 59 investors, most of them family and friends, of $1.5 million.

Christopher John Collecutt, 57, was sentenced at the Auckland District Court yesterday after pleading guilty in August to three charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office.

The former foreign exchange trader admitted theft by a person in a special relationship, obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception, and making false statements as promoter.

At yesterday's sentencing, Judge Grant Fraser said he could not underestimate the loss caused to the victims and the long-term consequences of Collecutt's offending.


It was important to "deter this kind of behaviour" and any references of Collecutt's good character were overturned by the nature of the offending.

Judge Fraser described Collecutt's offending as a significant abuse of trust and said none of the lost money had been recovered.

Collecutt has since been declared bankrupt, and no reparation orders were made.

Victims of Collecutt's offending sitting in the public gallery said the sentence was what they expected.

Collecutt's uncle, who declined to be named, said he had lost a lot of money through his nephew and knew of people who had lost up to $300,000.

"It's just very disappointing," he said.

Former SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said earlier Collecutt "cynically and effectively exploited his personal relationships with investors".