Commission Lays Criminal Charges Against Huljich

(Media releases from the Securities Commission)
18 November 2010

The Securities Commission confirms that it has laid criminal charges against Huljich Wealth Management (New Zealand) Limited and director Peter Huljich.

The charges relate to the Huljich KiwiSaver Scheme for which Huljich Wealth Management and Peter Huljich are promoters.

The Commission alleges Peter Huljich and Huljich Wealth Management misled prospective investors by misrepresenting the investment performance of the scheme's funds in offer documents. The offer documents contained graphs comparing the Huljich KiwiSaver Funds' investment performance to other competitor KiwiSaver funds but failed to disclose that the Huljich performance figures included related party payments made at the direction of Peter Huljich. Those payments had a significant impact on the Huljich KiwiSaver Funds' investment performance figures.

The Commission also alleges Peter Huljich made untrue statements in the scheme's registered prospectuses which included summary financial performance information but failed to disclose the related party payments. The registered prospectuses also stated that the financial statements were prepared in accordance with New Zealand Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, and complied with NZ equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards and other applicable New Zealand Financial Reporting Standards although the financial statements did not comply with NZ IAS 24 Related Party Disclosures.

The Commission alleges that the misleading and false statements were made in the scheme's registered prospectus dated 22 August 2008 as amended on 13 February 2009, the registered prospectus dated 18 September 2009 and investment statements distributed during the period 1 May 2008 to 25 January 2010.

The criminal charges have been laid summarily under section 58(3) of the Securities Act 1978 which carries a maximum penalty of three months imprisonment or a $300,000 fine and under section 59(1)(c) of the Securities Act 1978 which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $300,000.

The first call of the charges will be in the District Court in Auckland on Friday 14 January 2011.

Prosecution decisions by the Commission are made after consideration of the Solicitor General's Prosecution Guidelines and advice from the Crown Solicitor.

As the proceedings are now before the Court the Commission will not comment further.

Ends

Contact: Roger Marwick 04 471 7659