Liquidator lays complaint with SFO over alleged actions of failed financial firms director

A complaint has been laid with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over the alleged actions of the director of a failed investments firm.

Options Trading and Investments NZ Limited is a Porirua company, incorporated in April 2015, which purported to offer investment services to its clients.

However, the Herald understands investors grew concerned when payments were missed and found neither the director nor his company was registered to provide financial advice or services after checking with the Financial Markets Authority.

Waterstone Insolvency’s Damien Grant was appointed as liquidator to the company by the High Court at Auckland last July.

In his third report, dated last week, Grant said he has now lodged a complaint with the SFO “in relation to actions undertaken by the director of the Company”.

The report added the director of Options Trading and Investments NZ, Tiavare Richard Curtis Joseph, has “failed to comply with statutory notices issued by the director to attend an interview under oath, provide the liquidator with information, and documents of the company.”

“As a consequence of this, the liquidator has filed proceedings in the High Court against the director of the company; the liquidator is in the process of obtaining subservice in relation to the above-mentioned legal proceedings,” it reads.

Joseph did not immediately reply to requests for comment from the Herald about the third report and SFO complaint.

Grant’s report also said he has analysed the bank statements of the firm, conducted a tracing exercise to identify payments of interest and is in the process of identifying deposits made by investors, and payments received by investors.

“At this stage it is unclear whether there will be a distribution to any class of creditor,” it said.

In the liquidator’s first report, it said: “Investors were induced to place money with the company to have their funds managed. Our initial investigations indicate that this may not have happened. To date, we have not been able to find any assets, cash, or funds under management by the company.”

One investor earlier told the Herald they were promised their $82,868 investment would attract 16 per cent returns as a “secured high-risk return investment”.

Joseph, who is known in the community as Richard and Ritchie Wineera, secured a board role on high-profile local charity the Porirua Whanau Centre in 2017, with his appointment praised by board members as adding financial and construction expertise.

He is also the director of construction company Kainga Ora Limited, which is not to be confused with the Government housing agency.

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