18 December 2018

Two men convicted on Crimes Act charges

Media release
MR No. 2018 – 55
18 December 2018 

Two men have been found guilty at Tauranga District Court on charges filed 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. 

The two men received $645,000 from two elderly women, who were led to believe they were investing their funds in return for shares in a software company.  The court heard no shares were ever issued and the money was largely spent on personal items. 

Karen Chang, FMA Head of Enforcement said, “Scams often involve you being approached out of the blue with offers of high returns for no risk. They might tell you the offer is known to only a few and should be kept secret. These promises are almost always too good to be true and a ploy to make you feel special.” 

“The best thing you can do if you’re approached about an investment, is to double-check if it’s legitimate. Check on our website to see if the business is licensed by us and look at the warnings we’ve issued in the past. All legitimate investments in New Zealand must have documents that are clear, concise and effective in explaining the investment.”

Both men were remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 22nd February 2019.

Edwin Mitson
Senior Adviser, Media Relations
021 702 036


Case: South and Provan

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FMA files charges under Crimes Act