A New Zealand man who has been embroiled in a long-running case of forex fraud has been sent to prison.
Russell Maher, who ran a firm called Forex Brokers Limited (FBL), was accused by the country’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of 47 charges of using forged documents.
Despite the fact that he operated a foreign exchange brokerage for more than 20 years, Maher also engaged in forgery that created certain impressions for his clients – even as his firm’s financial strength crumbled.
His firm’s services were sought out by importers and car yard businesses in particular.
Overall, he was responsible for taking $1.55m in client cash as a result of the documents.
Now, the Auckland District Court has sentenced him to three years and four months in prison.
He was made bankrupt in 2018, and the firm he ran was liquidated the year before.
In a statement, Julie Read, who serves as the director of the SFO, described Maher’s crimes as “repetitive and premeditated”.
“Mr Maher’s dishonest, repetitive and premeditated offending resulted in significant financial losses to his clients,” she said.
“He abused his position of trust to create the illusion that his business was successful when it was not. Such deceitful behaviour damages New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to invest and do business,” she added.
In a further statement, the SFO shed some more light on what Maher was accused of.
“Russell Maher (53) was sentenced today in the Auckland District Court on 47 representative charges of ‘Using forged documents’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office,” it said.
“The charges relate to Forex Brokers Limited (FBL), through which the defendant provided foreign exchange services.”
It went on to add that Maher was essentially engaged in projecting a positive image of his business despite the underlying concerns about it.
“Mr Maher sought to maintain client confidence in his business by forging documents, which misrepresented the timing of foreign currency transactions he conducted on behalf of his clients,” it said.
“In doing so he concealed the deteriorating financial position of FBL,” it added.
Maher had pleaded guilty to the charges.
The case against him has been in the foreign exchange trading news headlines for years.
Maher set up the company in 1995 and ran it until as recently as 2017.
Although he was the only director, the firm itself was owned by himself and his wife.
During the trial, there was some dispute over the amount of cash taken through the fraud.
The SFO made allegations at one stage that a figure close to $3m was taken.
Maher, however, claimed that the overall figure was under $1m.
In a previous statement, Rajesh Chhana, who served at the time as the acting director of the SFO, suggested that the losses may have been prevented if Maher had acted differently.
“Significant losses to client funds could have been avoided if Mr Maher had behaved honestly and accepted that his business had failed,” he said.
- What Does Binance Being Kicked Out of Belgium Mean for Crypto Prices?
- Crypto Traders and Coin Prices Face New Challenge as Binance Gives up its FCA Licence
- Interpol Declares Investment Scams “Serious and Imminent Threat”
- Annual UK Fraud Audit Reveals Scam Hot-Spots
- Former Schwab, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley Advisor is Sentenced to Seven Years
- FX Fraudster On The Run After £70m Ponzi Scheme Collapses
What Does Binance Being Kicked Out of Belgium Mean for Crypto Prices?
Safest Forex Brokers 2023
|Broker||Info||Best In||Customer Satisfaction Score|
|#1||72% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Founded: 2014||Global Forex & CFD Broker||
Best Trading Conditions Visit broker
|#2||Your capital is at risk Founded: 2014||Global Forex Broker||
BEST SPREADS Visit broker
|#3||Your capital is at risk Founded: 2006||Globally regulated broker||
BEST CUSTOMER SUPPORT Visit broker
|#4||82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Founded: 2008||Global CFD Provider||
Best Trading App Visit broker
|#5||Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs Founded: 2010||Global Forex Broker|
|#6||77% of CFD traders lose Founded: 2007||Global CFD & FX Broker||
ALL-INCLUSIVE TRADING PLATFORM Visit broker
|#7||Your capital is at risk Founded: 2009, 2015 and 2017||Global Forex Broker|
|#8||Your capital is at risk Founded: 2006||CFD and Cryptocurrency Broker||
CFD and Cryptocurrency Visit broker
Forex Fraud Certified Brokers
Stay up to date with the latest Forex scam alerts
Sign up to receive our up-to-date broker reviews, new fraud warnings and special offers direct to your inbox