03 July 2018

Arena Capital/Blackfort

Mr Ryan, also known as Lance Jared Thompson, used the forex platform BlackfortFX as a façade to encourage more than 900 investors, who were mostly from the Christchurch region, to put about $8.3 million in the Ponzi scheme.

Any questions about the liquidation of the company should be referred to Calibre Partners https://www.calibrepartners.co.nz/ (prevously KordaMentha).

3 July 2018

The FMA acknowledges the sentencing in the Serious Fraud Office’s criminal prosecution of Mr Jimmy McNicholl and Mr Lance Ryan, also known as Lance Jared Thompson. Related media release: FMA statement on Blackfort/Arena sentencing.

Lance Jack Ryan (44) has been jailed for seven years and six months, with a minimum non-parole period of three years and nine months. He had pleaded guilty earlier to charges of ‘Obtaining by deception’, ‘False accounting’, ‘Forgery’, ‘Reproducing a document with intent to deceive’ and ‘Theft by person in special relationship’.

Jimmie Kevin McNicholl (56) who was the public face of BlackfortFX, as well as its sole shareholder and director, was sentenced to 11 months of home detention and ordered to pay $50,000 in reparation. Mr McNicholl pleaded guilty in May to obtaining the registration as a financial services provider by deception.
Read SFO media release: Ponzi scheme operator Lance Ryan jailed

27 July 2015

Arena Capital Limited was placed into liquidation in the Christchurch High Court on 24 July 2015.  Korda Mentha (the current receivers of Arena) have been appointed as liquidators. 

Download the receivers’ update to the Companies Office PDF.

11 June 2015

The Receivers and Managers have provided an interim update to investors and the Court about the steps they have taken to date and the current status of their work.

Their preliminary findings include:

  • KordaMentha has been contacted by approximately 750 people who claim to have placed funds with Arena.
  • The collective deposits into Arena’s bank accounts from all sources amounted to $9 million.  Some monies were repaid to some clients before the FMA obtained asset preservation orders and before the company was placed in receivership, so the amount of capital contributions remaining owing to clients will be less than $9 million and is still being assessed.
  • There are no financial accounts for Arena.
  • There is no evidence of any actual trading being conducted by Arena in foreign exchange markets.
  • Arena continues to be in receivership

The investigation by the FMA and the Serious Fraud Office is ongoing. 

28 May 2015

The High Court in Christchurch has appointed Grant Graham and Neale Jackson of KordaMentha as receivers and managers of Arena Capital Limited, trading as Blackfort FX (Arena/Blackfort).
Related media release: Receivers and managers appointed to Arena Capital / BlackfortFX

21 May 2015

The FMA confirms that it is undertaking an investigation into Arena Capital Limited (Arena), trading as BlackfortFX (Blackfort). The FMA has obtained asset preservation orders over the assets of Arena/Blackfort and associated persons, in light of concerns that investor funds may be at risk. Related media release: FMA secures Asset Preservation Orders over Arena Capital Limited / Blackfort.