Currency trader jailed for fraud

Last updated 11:36 14/12/2012

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Foreign exchange trader Christopher Collecutt, operating under the name CFX Trading, has been sentenced to two years, two months and three weeks in jail following a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

The 57-year-old pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court in August to three Crimes Act charges after 59 investors, mostly family and friends, lost around $1.5 million through investing with him.

Charges include theft by person in a special relationship, obtaining by or causing loss by deception, and making a false statement as a promoter.

Collecutt traded foreign currency on behalf of investors located both in New Zealand and overseas, and had been forex trading since around 2007.

It's the second sentencing for this type of offence this week.

SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley, said “Over the past 18 to 24 months, the SFO has investigated more than six of these Ponzi-type schemes, where investment advisers appear to have failed to invest funds as promised and produced false statements to disguise losses or missing money."

He said the latest case should serve as a reminder to investors to be cautious where they place their money. "Check facts and figures, be suspicious of out-of-the-ordinary returns, get things in writing and be wary of investments based on personal relationships rather than strong verifiable facts,” he said.

Collecutt had been forex trading from his home for himself and his wife since 2004. Three years later he began doing so on behalf of other investors and predominantly traded in US Dollars, Australian Dollars, and Japanese Yen.

From late 2008 onwards, Collecutt sent out false weekly investment reports to investors, calculated commission income on false profits, and used investor funds for his own gain.

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