Dunedin Ponzi Operator Admits $15.7-million Fraud
A Dunedin man who ran a Ponzi scheme has admitted defrauding investors of at least $15.7 million.
Barry Edward Kloogh (57) pleaded guilty in the Dunedin District Court today to all but one of the charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
Mr Kloogh provided financial advisory services through several companies of which he was the sole director and shareholder. He had approximately 2000 active clients in May 2019.
The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Mr Kloogh exploited the trust and goodwill of his clients to misappropriate a significant amount of money from them. Many victims lost their retirement savings and are not in a position to recover financially.”
The defendant was remanded in custody to reappear in the Dunedin District Court for sentencing on 14 May.
The Financial Markets Authority referred the matter to the SFO and assisted the agency in its investigation.
Barry Edward Kloogh (57) of Dunedin has pleaded guilty to representative charges of ‘False accounting’, ‘False statement by promoters’, ‘Theft by person in special relationship’ and ‘Obtaining by deception’. He has also pleaded guilty to individual charges of ‘Forgery’ (x4), ‘Theft by person in special relationship’(x1) and ‘Obtaining by deception’(x2).
Mr Kloogh started his financial services career in 1983. He provided financial advisory services through several companies of which he was the sole director and shareholder, including Financial Planning Limited (which traded as Breathe Financial), Breathe Financial Limited and Impact Enterprises Limited.
His business principally consisted of advising clients about making investments, reducing debt and obtaining insurance policies.