A bankrupt former financial advisor already imprisoned for stealing more than $3 million has been sentenced to a further year in jail for making false statements in company accounts.
The former director of Strategic Planning Group, Andrew Robinson, cultivated the trust of elderly and vulnerable people who now "have seen their lives decimated", a High Court judge said when sentencing him to six years' jail in July for the theft.
He appeared in the High Court at Auckland yesterday afternoon for sentencing on additional charges laid by the Financial Markets Authority.
Robinson, in his early 40s, admitted the charges last month, which related to him providing a broking service without being registered, and knowingly making a false statement in his application to become an authorised financial adviser.
He also admitted to making false statements in financial accounts.
These financial reporting offences were the lead charges, prosecutor Karen Chang said this afternoon, and related to SPG Investment Company No 1 (SPGI).
That company, directed by Robinson and co-accused Mark Turnock, lent about $600,000 to another firm controlled by Turnock called Heka Developments.
This related party-transaction was not disclosed in SPGI's financial statements for the 2008 and 2009 years Chang said the omission wasn't a technical or inadvertent breach but very significant and that the amount lent was more than half of what SPGI was worth.
The overall picture from the accounts was "extremely misleading", she said.
The prosecutor said key information was withheld from SPGI's accountant, who wasn't told the transaction in question was a loan.
The company which received the money from SPGI is now in liquidation and SPGI's investors will recover nothing from it.
Chang said Robinson's guilty pleas came only a few weeks before he was due to go trial and believed Justice Patricia Courtney should view his expressions of remorse with some skepticism.
Jeremy Bioletti, Robinson's lawyer, said his client had acknowledged responsibility for the offending.
The guilty plea had come so late, Bioletti said, because of Robinson's personal circumstances -- namely that he has four children by two different partners.
Justice Courtney, when sentencing Robinson, said he was directly responsible for introducing some of SPGI's investors to the company.
"The false statements you made obscured related party lending which would have been highly relevant to any investor," the judge said.
As a result of the statements, investors "were seriously misled" and unable to make fully informed decisions, she said.
Although acknowledging Robinson's modest level of co-operation with authorities and his guilty plea, the judge said the admission came "very late".
She did not think his level of remorse nor previous good character entitled him to a reduction in the sentence he otherwise would get.
She added 12 months to his existing sentence, which means Robinson's total prison term is seven years.
Turnock, who has admitted one charge over SPGI's financial statements, will be sentenced next month.