A retired Dunedin lawyer has admitted misappropriating investments of $2.8 million from mainly elderly clients in what appears to have the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme.
The Serious Fraud Office will be pressing for a starting point of eight years’ jail when his sentencing is considered, and he was told today that home detention was not an option.
Losses caused by 79-year-old John David Milne totalled about $2.3 million, Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Rachel Reed told the Christchurch District Court today when Milne pleaded guilty to 34 charges.
The offending took place in Dunedin and Christchurch from 1991 to 2012, involving 29 victims.
Milne is now an undischarged bankrupt who had practised as a lawyer in Dunedin and Christchurch from 1995, but did not hold a practising certificate in 2012.
Complaints about him were heard by the Otago Lawyers Standards Committee in 2012 and referred to the Serious Fraud Office which eventually brought the prosecution.
Full story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10584182/Lawyer-admits-defrauding-clients-of-2-8m