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Two men convicted on Crimes Act charges for scamming elderly women

19 December 2018

Two men have been found guilty at Tauranga District Court on charges laid by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

Robert Ian South was found guilty of two counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, under Section 220 of the Crimes Act 1961. 

Murray Byron Provan was found guilty of two counts of obtaining by deception under Section 240 of the same Act.

The two men received $645,000 from two elderly women, who were led to believe they were investing their funds in return for shares in a software company.  The court heard no shares were ever issued and the money was largely spent on personal items. 

“Scams often involve you being approached out of the blue with offers of high returns for no risk,” says Karen Chang, FMA Head of Enforcement. “They might tell you the offer is known to only a few and should be kept secret. These promises are almost always too good to be true.” 

“All legitimate investments in New Zealand must have documents that are clear, concise and effective in explaining the investment.”

Both men were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 22 February 2019.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019