Charges were made against an Auckland foreign exchange dealer by the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on the grounds of alleged offences similar to that of David Ross whose company, Ross Asset Management, declared false income gains to clients before its liquidation late last year.
Fifteen charges have been laid against 42 year-old Rene Alan Chalmers, who the SFO says misreported clients’ financial positions by around $4 million, and misappropriated $837,046 for personal use in 2011 and 2012.
Chalmers and an associate registered Chalmers Cameron Investments Limited (CCIL) in 2007. The company went into voluntary liquidation last May, owing investors approximately $5 million.
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The SFO alleges that “although investors believed they were giving Mr Chalmers their money for the sole purpose of forex trading, Chalmers was using investor funds contrary to the agreement(s) under which they were accepted and reporting false gains to investors via monthly or quarterly investor statements.”
A further allegation by the SFO is that Chalmers misled banks when applying for mortgages for three properties located in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
During his brief court appearance on January 22, Mr Chalmers’ lawyer Paul Mabey QC said his client was not ready to enter a plea. Mr Mabey asked the court if he could accompany his client to the criminal counter to sign the bail bond, to avoid Chalmers having to go into the cells.
Community Magistrate Rebecca Ewert told Chalmers he had to hand over his passport to court staff and was not to work as a foreign exchange dealer or financial advisor while on bail, and he is due back in court within the next few days.
According to the SFO, Chalmers and his wife moved to the United Arab Emirates where they worked as teachers. They returned to New Zealand in 2011.