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Former ASB adviser to plead guilty to $18m fraud

Tuesday 26th January 2010

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A sacked ASB investment banker has indicated that he will plead guilty to fraud charges of nearly $18 million which is the country's largest employee theft.

Stephen Gerard Versalko, 51, appeared in the Auckland District Court today facing three charges from the Serious Fraud Office after allegedly defrauding 30 wealthy bank clients over nine years of $17,763,110 as ASB senior investment adviser.

His lawyer Stuart Grieve QC asked for the case to be remanded for another week so the specific SFO allegations could be clarified with Versalko's summary of facts, saying his client would plead guilty to the charges.

Judge Roderick Joyce QC granted the adjournment taking into account the early guilty pleas and he extended the suppression orders on the summary of facts.

The three charges Versalko faces are:

*obtained $12,958,608 from 17 ASB Bank clients by conducting 68 fraudulent transactions between October 2003 and August 2009.

*offered fictitious investment opportunities to obtain $1,074,077 in 12 fraudulent transactions between August 2000 and September 2003.

* obtained $3,730,423 from 28 ASB clients by conducting 43 fraudulent transactions between October 2003 and April 2009.

The amount stolen by Versalko is more than the largest proven employment theft of $16.9 million by a member of the Otago District Health Board who was jailed for nine years in March 2009 - a record for an SFO prosecution.

Versalko was remanded on bail until February 2.

 



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