SFO charges over $1-million theft

19:33, Mar 04 2014

A Rotorua woman has been charged with ripping off pensioners to the tune of $1 million.

Linnet Lewis, 51, has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office in the Rotorua District Court with 26 counts of theft, forgery and dishonestly using a document.

She had pleaded not guilty, and a prior orders of name suppression lapsed today.

Lewis is alleged to have misappropriated funds given to her companies Lewis Administration and Algin Trust Services by predominantly retired clients.

Lewis's business provided financial services including bill paying, arranging tax returns and client investments.

Lewis was not a registered financial services provider or an authorised financial adviser.

The SFO was referred the case by Rotorua Police in June 2012.

SFO director Julie Read said: ''When a person is given authority to act on a client's behalf, the client should be able to trust that services will be provided in a professional manner consistent with the client's expectations.''

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