A man accused of deliberately failing to account for $243,000
given to him to invest on international stock markets has
this morning been found guilty.
The Napier District Court jury took around 90 minutes to find
Peter Jonatahn Rens, 73, guilty on 12 counts of theft by a
person in a special relationship.
Over the course of the four day trial, the court heard how he
had taken payments from 12 different people - sums ranging
from $5000 to $105,000 - to invest on their behalf on
international stock markets.
Now, eight years later, none of the investors have received
their money back, nor any supposed profits made, despite
their attempts to do so.
Rens had claimed he had no idea where the money was but that
he had not deliberately failed to account to the group of
Evidence during the trial stated there was a bank account
created in the Caribbean, a company registered in the
Dominican Republic and accountants based in Uruguay for the
It was part of an overly "intricate" investment structure
that may have been his undoing, his lawyer said.
Rens, originally from South Africa, originally met some of
the investors at the Hawkes Bay Gliding club and in 2004 and
2005 took a series of payments that eventually totalled
He was released on bail for sentencing in February.
- By Corey Charlton of Hawke's Bay Today