A foreign exchange broker who used forged documents to disguise his company’s financial status has pleaded guilty to fraud.
Russell Angus Maher (52) pleaded guilty at the Auckland District Court to 47 charges of ‘Using forged documents’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The SFO says the charges relate to Forex Brokers Ltd, through which the defendant provided foreign exchange services.
It says Mr Maher provided clients with forged documents that deliberately misrepresented the status of the transactions he was meant to carry out. He used forged documents to disguise that Forex was in financial difficulty.
“Mr Maher risked client funds and New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business through his arrogant and, ultimately, criminal actions,” says the Acting Director of the SFO, Rajesh Chhana.
“He used his clients’ money to maintain the façade of a successful business. Significant losses to client funds could have been avoided if Mr Maher had behaved honestly and accepted that his business had failed.”
Mr Maher was remanded on bail for sentencing at the Auckland District Court on 30 September.
Car yards and other importers used Forex’s services. The company was placed in liquidation in April 2017 and Mr Maher was declared bankrupt in November 2018.