WELLINGTON: Investment adviser Anthony Paul Mount was sentenced for six years and nine months in the Nelson District Court after being found guilty of 74 fraud-related charges, including theft by a person in a special relationship and obtaining by deception.
The police during his trial said that Mount stole $510,617 from his clients over a decade by inflating the purchase price of investments bought on their behalf and by deflating the sale price of investments sold or redeemed on their behalf.
As well as the criminal charges, 20 of Mount’s former clients took a civil action against him, his wife and their company, alleging they acted dishonestly.
The couple operated a Nelson financial consultancy for more than two decades and invested money on their clients’ behalf.
Although the civil proceedings against the Mounts have been on the boil for four years, a suppression order over the case was lifted by the Court of Appeal only last month.
The investors filed for summary judgment against the Mounts and their company, which was heard in the High Court at Nelson last year.
In his decision on the matter, Associate Judge John Matthews found the Mounts had breached their duties, including to act honestly in their dealings with the clients and not defalcate their money. He was also satisfied that, as a consequence, the clients had suffered losses.
But in a ruling this month, Justices Christine French, Geoffrey Venning and Robert Dobson confirmed the High Court decision, although they reduced the amount awarded by close to $55,000.