'Ashamed': Kloogh breaks silence

Barry Kloogh
Barry Kloogh
Failed investment adviser Barry Kloogh has broken his silence, telling the Otago Daily Times he has filed for personal bankruptcy and that he was aware he had betrayed people's trust.

Mr Kloogh filed papers for his personal bankruptcy yesterday.

Two companies of which Mr Kloogh was sole director, Financial Planning Ltd and Impact Enterprises, were placed into liquidation in August; the first report by the Official Assignee put the sum owed to clients at $12million-$14million.

"I feel deeply for those who have been affected by my actions. I had no intention for them to go through this,'' Mr Kloogh said.

"They are good, decent people ... I always had faith in my abilities to rise above the situation as it was.

"I am very aware of the pain, anguish and hurt that I have caused, very aware.

"I am very aware of the financial circumstances of those affected by those actions, and I certainly did not want that to happen to them.''

The Otago Daily Times has spoken to many of the more than 170 creditors identified so far as being owed money by Mr Kloogh and his companies.

Many had invested with Mr Kloogh for years and were clients of his latest enterprise, Breathe Financial.

Amounts invested range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which for many clients represented their life savings.

"It's sickening, I know'', Mr Kloogh said.

"But I also know that I have done some bad things and I need to be able to do something about that in the future.

"I can't do anything about it now. I would like to be able to, but I can't.''

Court documents showed Mr Kloogh's companies had next to no assets.

He said he had few personal assets, hence his filing for bankruptcy, something which he hoped would speed the resolution of his company's financial affairs.

"No money has gone offshore,'' Mr Kloogh said.

"I am not going to abdicate responsibility. If I had money offshore, it would be here now.''

Mr Kloogh said the sole property he owned, in Central Otago, had been sold and the money was being held by lawyers.

"I want to make it really clear that no-one at all was involved, apart from myself.

"There were no relations, none of my staff.

"What happened was solely my actions and no-one else was involved in this ...

"I feel that is really important to say because I have family members that were associated with the business, and they just didn't have anything to do with it, and none of my staff had anything to do with it.''

The Serious Fraud Office is continuing to investigate Mr Kloogh and his companies.

No charges have yet been laid against him.

Mr Kloogh said he had co-operated fully with the Official Assignee regarding the liquidation of his companies, and would continue to assist the authorities.

"I would like this to be over and done with very quickly, and I will be doing everything I possibly can to bring this to a close.''

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