FMA charges Steven Robertson with stealing investor funds
By Rebecca Howard
Oct. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The Financial Markets Authority has filed 47 criminal charges against Steven Robertson in the Auckland District Court accusing him stealing investor funds while purporting to be financial adviser.
The charges include 28 counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, 11 counts of obtaining by deception and eight counts of dishonestly taking or using document. Each carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment per charge.
"It is alleged Mr Robertson misappropriated funds deposited by clients who believed those funds were to be traded on their behalf or were paid as consideration for the purported purchase of shares in PTT Limited or an associated entity," the FMA said. It also alleges that some clients had funds withdrawn from their credit card accounts without their authority and knowledge.
Robertson was not an authorised financial adviser or otherwise authorised or licensed by the FMA but held himself out as investing funds deposited with him by clients.
In 2015 the FMA secured interim asset preservation orders from the High Court in Auckland over the assets of PTT Limited, Steven Robertson and associated entities, as part of an ongoing investigation. It cited concerns that client funds may be at risk and the company may be operating in breach of financial market legislation.
At the time, John Fisk and David Bridgman of PwC were appointed receivers and managers of PTT and six other associated entities, on a limited basis. An initial report to the High Court indicated the PTT Group was estimated to have collected $4.4 million from third-parties between 2013 and 2015.
Robertson’s first appearance is scheduled for Nov. 28.