ASB fraudster Versalko gets parole

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 12:53 05/02/2014
Stephen Versalko
Lawrence Smith
PAROLE GRANTED: Stephen Versalko was sentenced to six years' prison for defrauding ASB customers to the tune of nearly eighteen million dollars.

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An ASB investment adviser who stole $17.8 million from customers and spent it on cars, wine and prostitutes has been granted parole.

Stephen Versalko was jailed in 2010 for six years after admitting stealing the money in an elaborate ponzi scheme while working for the bank during a 10-year period.

During that time he spent $3.9m on properties in Remuera and Coromandel, $1m on cars, family trusts and education fees, and $300,000 on wine.

He also spent $3.4m on two prostitutes, gifting them money and taking one on a trip to Dubai.

Versalko was only caught after one of his 30 duped customers saw a documentary about US mega-fraudster Bernie Madoff. The customer grew concerned about parallels between Madoff's "fobbing off" of anxious investors and her experiences with Versalko.

When she phoned ASB to discuss her fears, the scams were uncovered.

ASB attempted to recover the money paid to one of the prostitutes, eventually reaching a settlement with her.

Versalko's then-wife Megan also settled with the bank after claiming she was entitled to proceedings from the marriage up to the start of her husband's offending.

Versalko is understood to have been serving his time at the minimum-security prison at Rangipo near Turangi.

He had his first parole hearing today, with the board granting his release as he "no longer poses an undue risk to the safety of the community".

He will be released on February 24.

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- Fairfax Media

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