Yuen Pok (Paul) Loo Sentenced For Forgery And Financial Markets Legislation Offences
Yuen Pok (Paul) Loo, a former financial adviser, has been sentenced in the Manukau District Court to a combination of six months’ community detention with a 7pm to 7am curfew, 200 hours’ community work and 12 months’ intensive supervision following a prosecution brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko.
In September 2023, Mr Loo pleaded guilty to:
- one charge of forgery under section 256(1) of the Crimes Act 1961;
- one representative charge of using a forged document under section 257(1) of the Crimes Act 1961;
- one representative charge of providing financial services when he was not registered under section 11(2) of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (FSP Act); and
- two representative charges of failing to comply with the FMA’s orders under section 479(2) of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMC Act).
The forgery charges relate to a letter Mr Loo forged, purporting to be from the FMA granting his company, Wisdom House Investment Partners Limited (Wisdom House), a full financial advice provider (FAP) licence, which he sent to a number of his clients. The latter charges relate to Mr Loo providing financial advice without a registration when he was required to be registered under the FSP Act and Mr Loo’s breach of the FMA’s stop orders by continuing to contact his clients and provide financial advice. Mr Loo was convicted and discharged on the two FMC Act charges.
In December 2021, the FMA cancelled the transitional FAP licence of Wisdom House. In August 2022, the FMA issued a permanent stop order against Mr Loo and Wisdom House, for which he is the sole director and shareholder. The permanent stop order prohibited Mr Loo and Wisdom House from distributing any restricted communications that related to the supply of a financial advice service to any person, supplying a financial advice to any person, and supplying the financial advice of keeping, investing, administering, or managing money, securities or investment portfolios on behalf of other persons.
Following the issuing of the permanent stop order, the FMA opened a criminal investigation into Mr Loo, resulting in the filing of criminal charges.
In sentencing Mr Loo, Judge Jonathan Moses commented that had it not been for Mr Loo’s specific employment circumstances, a sentence of home detention would have been appropriate.
FMA Head of Enforcement Margot Gatland said: “Mr Loo’s conduct was a serious breach of the ethical standards expected of financial advisers. His actions undermine the integrity and reputation of the financial advice profession and financial markets. Today’s sentence sends a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.”