Rens found guilty of bilking investors

Last updated 12:22 20/12/2012

Relevant offers


How to make your Lotto windfall last Canines are top-dogs when it comes to household spending on pets Kiwis lavish $800 million a year on dogs - but can we afford it? 'Unaffordable' Auckland forces teacher out Auckland Council warns of credit card scam after woman falls victim Vanguard to release tobacco and bomb-free funds for KiwiSaver Lotto winner complains to tribunal over real estate deal gone sour Insurers back down from rigid sum insured policies BNZ expects house prices to flatten, not fall Landlords to offer long-term tenancies?

A jury has found that a broker purposely failed to account for more than $240,000 given to him by investors.

In the Napier District Court this morning, Peter Jonathan Rens, 73, was found guilty on all 12 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

In 2004, Rens explained to other Hawke's Bay Gliding club members how they could make money on the financial markets.

After hearing about the good returns, Rens' gliding instructor gave him $11,000 to put on the sharemarket. By the next year, 12 people had given Rens $243,000 to invest on their behalf.

Rens left Hawke's Bay in 2007, when investors started asking where their money was. These investors had not seen a cent since.

Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said Rens deliberately hoodwinked people he knew were not "business savvy" and made a multitude of excuses about the missing money.

Rens told some investors that their money was "frozen" in American trading companies and others that trading was being held up because the lawyers and accountants he used in Uruguay were closed during the holiday season.

Manning said that, instead, investors' money was flowing into Rens' bank account and he used it on personal expenses.

Rens also forged a document stating that the investment had grown to $1 million, to keep investors happy, Manning said.

Rens' lawyer, Bill Calver, said it was a "real possibility" that Rens, too, had been a victim of fraud, or that the money got lost in his "overcomplicated" trading structure.

However, the jury did not buy this. They took less than an hour to come to their decision.

Rens was remanded on bail until February for sentence. The South African-born man has surrendered his passport to the police.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content