Unauthorised financial adviser Steven Robertson is facing 47 criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating client funds.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) claims Robertson's clients believed the funds they deposited would be traded on their behalf or paid as consideration for the purported purchase of shares in his company, Prosper Through Trading (PTT Ltd), or an associated entity.
"The FMA also alleges that some clients had funds withdrawn from their credit card accounts without their authority and knowledge," the authority said in a statement.
Robertson is facing 28 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, 11 of obtaining by deception and eight of dishonestly taking or using a document.
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The FMA's head of enforcement, Karen Chang, said Robertson was not an authorised financial adviser or otherwise licensed by the FMA. Nonetheless, he held himself out as investing funds deposited with him by clients.
"The FMA will monitor and take enforcement action where it sees conduct on its perimeter that could harm investors or damage the reputation of New Zealand's financial markets," she said.
Asset preservation orders were obtained against Robertson and his company in 2015 in light of concerns investor funds may have been at risk.
The company and associated entities were placed in liquidation later that year.
Robertson is to appear in the Auckland District Court on November 28.