Director of Forex Brokers Limited pleads guilty to fraud

Maria Nikolova

Russell Maher has pleaded guilty to 47 charges of ‘Using forged documents’ brought by New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office.

Russell Maher, the sole director of Forex Brokers Limited (FBL), has pleaded guilty to fraud charges, New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced.

Mr Maher pleaded guilty today at the Auckland District Court to 47 charges of ‘Using forged documents’ brought by the SFO. The charges relate to FBL, through which the defendant provided foreign exchange services. Mr Maher provided clients with forged documents that deliberately misrepresented the status of the transactions he was meant to carry out. He used forged documents to disguise that FBL was in financial difficulty.

The Acting Director of the SFO, Rajesh Chhana, said, “Mr Maher risked client funds and New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to do business through his arrogant and, ultimately, criminal actions. He used his clients’ money to maintain the façade of a successful business. Significant losses to client funds could have been avoided if Mr Maher had behaved honestly and accepted that his business had failed.”

Mr Maher was remanded on bail for sentencing on September 30, 2019.

In June this year, New Zealand’s SFO said that it had brought fraud charges against Russell Maher, whose company is in liquidation. The charges relate to Forex Brokers Limited (FBL), through which he provided Forex services. The maximum penalty for each charge is 10 years’ imprisonment.

The SFO alleges Mr Maher provided clients with forged documents that deliberately misrepresented the status of the transactions he was meant to carry out. He is believed to have used forged documents to disguise that FBL was in financial difficulty.

According to the allegations, the defendant operated a Forex broking business – FBL, from 1995 until 2017. Mr Maher was the sole director and shares of the company 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.

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