Kloogh lied for years to fund high life

Barry Kloogh
Barry Kloogh
Disgraced financial adviser Barry Kloogh lied to his clients for years, inventing fictitious investments to fund a life spent eating out and travelling, newly released court documents reveal.

Kloogh pleaded guilty to multiple charges of fraud, theft and other offences a fortnight ago, after a Serious Fraud Office investigation found he stole at least $15million from his clients.

He was remanded in custody until sentencing. His lawyer said Kloogh accepted a term of imprisonment was likely.

Released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, the summary of facts in the case reveals Kloogh believed he took $18million from his clients, and had run a Ponzi scheme for many years.

‘‘As well as funding client withdrawals, Mr Kloogh used the pooled client funds to keep various businesses running and for his own personal use,’’ the document says.

‘‘For example, he purchased trips for himself and/or his wife, paid deposits for cars and lent his family members money.’’

The summary of facts also reveals Kloogh was able to perpetrate his fraud because his bank’s e-banking system allowed him to change the ‘‘payer’’ for transactions.

In a voluntary interview with the SFO, Kloogh said: ‘‘It astounded me that they would allow me to change who the payer was.

‘‘So the payer could be changed to Consilium [a firm which offers investment services through a secure portal] so it would look as if it was coming from FNZ Consilium.

‘‘And vice versa, I could put money into the Consilium account and it looks like it was coming from the client. I could change that.’’

Kloogh had more than 2000 active clients when the SFO moved to close down his firms.

His main enterprises, Financial Planning Ltd and Impact Enterprises Ltd, are now in liquidation.

On March 12, Kloogh pleaded guilty to individual charges of forgery, theft by a person in a special relationship, obtaining by deception and representative charges alleging false accounting, theft by a person in a special relationship and obtaining by deception.

An outstanding charge of making false statements by a promoter is still to be dealt with by the court.

Kloogh is due to reappear in the Dunedin District Court on May 12.

A half-day has been set aside as a large number of victim impact statements are expected to be read.

The summary of facts says Kloogh was authorised to create and operate accounts on Consilium on behalf of his clients.

‘‘Clients could also access their accounts should they so wish ... Kloogh, however, intentionally did not advise his clients about this Consilium functionality.

‘‘He also caused the statements to be posted to his PO box instead of to the client.

‘‘In at least one instance Mr Kloogh told a client that he would not give them password access to their Consilium account because ‘that’s not the way I operate’.’’

Clients were provided bank account numbers to place their funds into, but rather than being for Consilium or other reputable platforms, the numbers were actually those of Impact Enterprises Ltd and operated by Kloogh.

If a client wanted their money, Kloogh instructed Consilium to sell enough units to cover the amount and transferred money from IEL’s account to a trust account, where he made it appear the money was coming from the client.

Consilium would then debit what it thought was a legitimate sale from the trust account and credit it to the withdrawing customer.

Kloogh told the SFO that inappropriately putting money through Consilium’s accounts meant he had a good record of how much money he had stolen and ‘‘owed’’ each client.

‘‘Under the Ponzi scheme Mr Kloogh obtained at least $15million from his clients; in his voluntary interview Mr Kloogh said he had misappropriated $18million.’’


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