Published 6 September 2012
Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley said Tuesday’s guilty verdict for Jacqueline Bradley (59) on all 75 Crimes Act charges she faced was the second affinity fraud conviction in a fortnight, highlighting the risk of making investments purely on the basis of some personal relationship with the promoter of an investment scheme.
The charges related to Mrs Bradley’s role as a director of B’On Financial Services Ltd, which she ran with her husband Michael Bradley, who died last year. B’On sought funds from clients on the pretext of investing in various funds they had established both in New Zealand & offshore.
The SFO investigation revealed that 24 investors paid the Bradleys $14.4 million in the 6½ years to November 2009 and additional Australian investors a further $A840,000. The money was used in true Ponzi fashion, to repay other investors and to fund the Bradleys’ personal lifestyle through their family trust.
Mr Feeley said after the verdicts in the Aiuckland District Court: “Like all Ponzi schemes, although they are doomed to ultimate failure, it operated to provide the Bradleys a luxury lifestyle while their victims suffered devastating consequences through, in many cases, the loss of their life savings. In one case, an investor lost their life insurance paid out in advance due to a terminal illness.
"We cannot over-emphasise the dangers of basing investment decisions on the recommendation of a relative, friend or acquaintance rather than careful investment analysis. The sad, simple fact is many people cannot be trusted and a decision based on a moment of trust can lead to a lifetime of financial heartache."
Mrs Bradley sprang to prominence in the 1980s under her maiden name, Jackie O’Neill, as a financial advisor focusing on women. The Bradleys, financial advisors & investment managers, established B’On Financial Services in 1998. They put that company & 4 others into voluntary liquidation on 21 December 2009.
Mrs Bradley will be sentenced in the Auckland District Court on 19 October 2012.
10 December 2010: SFO charges Bradleys with $15 million of fraud
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Attribution: SFO release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.