Strategic Planning Group director appears on theft charges
Former financial adviser Andrew Hrothgar Robinson has appeared in court on theft charges relating to allegations he stole about $3 million from investors.
Mr Robinson, 40, was a director of Auckland-based Strategic Planning Group and is a current director of SPG Investment Company No.1.
He appeared in Auckland District Court today to face five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and one charge of dishonestly using a document.
He did not enter a plea and will reappear on September 26.
The Financial Markets Authority and the Serious Fraud Office laid the charges against Mr Robinson following a joint investigation.
The authorities allege Mr Robinson stole about $3 million of investor funds to repay the investments of other investors and to pay for some business and personal expenses between 2010 and 2012.
It is also alleged Mr Robinson made false statements in various investment reports to hide the true picture from investors.
The FMA has laid one charge against Mr Robinson under the Financial Service Providers Act for providing a broking service without being registered, and one charge of knowingly making a false statement in his application to become an authorised financial adviser under the Financial Advisers Act.
FMA has laid additional charges against Mr Robinson and a co-director of Strategic Planning Group Mark Andrew Turnock. They each face two charges under the Financial Reporting Act of making false statements in the financial documents of the group’s investment company.
The SFO has not laid charges against Mr Turnock.
The investigation into Strategic Planning Group and SPG Investment Company No.1 began in December 2012 when FMA received a complaint with allegations about Mr Robinson’s management of client funds.
FMA then froze Mr Robinson’s personal and company bank accounts and had his AFA status terminated in December 2012.
Certain aspects of the investigation were then passed on to SFO.