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South and Provan jailed for 4 years and 6 months on Crimes Act charges

Page last updated: 25 Feb 2019

Media release
MR No. 2019 - 04
25th February 2019

Two men have both been sentenced to four years and six months in prison at Tauranga District Court on charges brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

Robert Ian South was found guilty of two counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, under Section 220 of the Crimes Act 1961.

Murray Byron Provan was found guilty of two counts of obtaining by deception under Section 240 of the Crimes Act 1961.

Both men were convicted by a jury in December 2018. They were sentenced on Friday 22nd February.

Karen Chang, FMA Head of Enforcement said, “The FMA brought this case because this type of conduct is simply egregious and conduct like this undermines confidence and trust in financial services.”

“South and Provan took hundreds of thousands of dollars ($605,000) from two vulnerable investors, who thought they were investing in a software company. Instead the two men just spent it on themselves.”

“We welcome the sentence, which reflects the level of offending and sends a clear message.”

“Investors can look to protect themselves from these types of fraudsters. Scams often start with someone approaching you out of the blue, offering large financial rewards for no risk. Offers that are too good to be true inevitably are. Investment advice based on personal goals can only be offered by an authorised financial adviser. Check our website to be sure the adviser is authorised by us.”

Contact:
Edwin Mitson
Senior Adviser, Media Relations
021 702 036

Note to editors:
South and Provan received a total of $645,000 from the two investors. $40,000 was returned to one of the investors. The $605,000 figure was used by the Court in sentencing.
Both men received the same sentence: 4 years and 6 months.