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Former Financial Adviser Pleads Guilty To Further Dishonesty Offences

Natalie Ann Carter, a former Hawke’s Bay-based mortgage broker, has pleaded guilty to a further three criminal charges brought against her by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko.

Ms Carter faced 15 charges following an investigation into her conduct between 2018-2021. She pleaded guilty to eight of the 15 charges during a court appearance in November. Ms Carter pleaded guilty to a further three charges in the Napier District Court yesterday. The FMA agreed to withdraw the four remaining charges.

The three further charges Ms Carter pleaded guilty are:

  • Making a false document
  • Making false or misleading statements
  • Deceived or attempted to deceive or knowingly mislead the FMA

Ms Carter will be sentenced on all charges in the Napier District Court on 12 March 2024.

Background

Between 2018 and 2020, Ms Carter created various false documents for the purpose of obtaining home loans for herself and two clients. The documents were fake pay slips, contracts and employment verification forms from fictitious employers. In total, seven home loans were applied for, totalling $2.91m in value. At least three of the seven home loan applications were successful to the total value of $1,087,700.

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Ms Carter’s engagement at the Hawke’s Bay-based brokerage was terminated in January 2020. The FMA was subsequently notified of several concerns, prompting an investigation. During the investigation, Ms Carter misled, deceived, or attempted to deceive the FMA about the extent of the alleged offending.

In April 2021, Ms Carter applied to join another brokerage, with the intention of working under the firm’s Financial Advice Provider (FAP) licence as an Authorised Body, through a company that she owned. During the application process, Ms Carter made false or misleading statements on two FMA documents, which must be provided to the FMA where an Authorised Body joins an FAP licence holder. It is alleged that she failed to declare that she was being investigated for dishonesty and misrepresented the nature of the FMA’s investigation.

The lead charge under the Crimes Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. The false or misleading statements charge under the FMC Act carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment a $200,000 fine, or both. The obstruction charge under the FMA Act carries a maximum penalty of a $300,000 fine.

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