Investment broker avoids jail

Last updated 11:59 05/02/2013

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A broker who purposely failed to account for more than $240,000 given to him by investors has avoided a jail sentence.

Peter Jonathan Rens, 73, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 400 hours' community work when he appeared in the Napier District Court today.

In December, a jury found him guilty of 12 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

In 2004, Rens told his fellow Hawke's Bay Gliding club members how they could make money on the financial markets, the court heard.

Rens' gliding instructor gave him $11,000 to put on the sharemarket after hearing about the good returns. 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.

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.

These investors have not seen a cent since.

Contact Tracey Chatterton
Hawke's Bay reporter
Twitter: @trackchatt

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