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More than 2000 people were active clients of failed financial adviser Barry Kloogh when his businesses collapsed, the Serious Fraud Office says.
Kloogh (57), whose firms Financial Planning Ltd and Impact Enterprises Ltd went into liquidation last year owing multi-millions, today appeared appeared on the registrar's list at Dunedin District Court, to face 12 charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office:
Mr Kloogh faces representative charges of ‘False accounting’, ‘False statement by promoters’, ‘Theft by person in special relationship’ and ‘Obtaining by deception’.
He also faces individual charges of ‘Forgery’, ‘Theft by person in special relationship’ and ‘Obtaining by deception’.
No plea was entered, and Kloogh was remanded on bail until March 12.
An SFO statement said nine of the charges were representative, and that it alleged Kloogh had defrauded investors of at least $15.7 million.
Kloogh was ordered to surrender his passport and not apply for a new one, remain resident at his bail address, and to have no contact with investors in his failed companies unless through the official assignee.
The official assignee's first report into the liquidation of FPL and IEL estimated that more than 170 clients were owed between $12 million and $14 million.
In November Kloogh told the Otago Daily Times he ''felt deeply'' for those affected by the demise of his firms, and that he was ''very aware of the pain, anguish and hurt that I have caused''.
Former clients reacted angrily to his attempt at contrition; one called it ``crocodile tears and pathetic excuses'' and another said they felt angrier now that when the companies failed in July.
Around a dozen former clients of Kloogh were at today's court appearance; Kloogh was also present, sitting quietly in behind them.
Kloogh had been under investigation by the SFO since May, when the organisation excecuted search warrants at his home and business premises.
In September the Financial Markets Authority cancelled Kloogh's authorisation to act as a financial adviser.