20 Dec 2011

Huljich fined $112,000 for misleading investors

4:12 pm on 20 December 2011

He has pleaded guilty to one charge under the Securities Act. His company, Huljich Wealth Management New Zealand, admitted two related charges.

A series of graphs contained in prospectuses compared Huljich Wealth Management's performance to other funds, but the documents failed to disclose the scheme's performance included personal top-ups by Huljich to compensate for some poor investment decisions.

At the Auckland District Court on Tuesday, Judge Brooke Gibson said Hulijch's offending was serious.

"He must have known that the statements and the graphs were misleading without the information relating to the benefits organised by him, and if he did not, then he ought to have."

"Accordingly, I am not prepared to accept that there were simply matters of oversight or acts of mere carelessness and I accept the informants position that they amount to gross negligence or recklessness."

During this time more than 74,000 people joined Huljich Wealth Management's KiwiSaver scheme, making it one of the largest in the country.

Judge Gibson fined Huljich $112,500 and ordered him to pay court costs of $132.89. The company was fined $239,000 and $95,000 in court costs.

Outside the court, Huljich said he was pleased to have had the opportunity of putting his side of the story and is looking forward to moving on.