Director of Forex Broker Ltd gets prison sentence for $1.55m fraud

Maria Nikolova

Russell Maher was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.

Russell Maher, a director of Forex Brokers Limited (FBL), was sentenced today in the Auckland District Court. Maher who defrauded his clients of approximately $1.55 million by using forged documents has been sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.

The Serious Fraud Office brought 47 representative charges of ‘Using forged documents’ against Maher. The charges relate to Forex Brokers Limited, through which the defendant provided foreign exchange services.

The defendant sought to maintain client confidence in his business by forging documents, which misrepresented the timing of foreign currency transactions he conducted on behalf of his clients. In doing so he concealed the deteriorating financial position of FBL.

Maher operated a foreign exchange broking business from 1995 until 2017. He was the sole director and shares of FBL were held by him and his wife.

Car yards and other importers used FBL’s services. FBL was placed in liquidation in April 2017 and Mr Maher was declared bankrupt in November 2018.

The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Mr Maher’s dishonest, repetitive and premeditated offending resulted in significant financial losses to his clients. He abused his position of trust to create the illusion that his business was successful when it was not. Such deceitful behaviour damages New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.”

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