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SFO probes Ponzi-style WSD financial group

Thursday 21st October 2010 3 Comments

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The Serious Fraud Office is looking into the affairs of the WSD group financial services of companies amid claims it failed to correctly account to investors for funds received.  

The firm, which was chaired by former Progressive Party MP and Cabinet Minister Matt Robson until November last year, has grabbed the attention of the SFO in the past. 

The investigator assisted Cook Islands officials after WSBC was placed under statutory management in 2008 and had its banking licence revoked last year.

Former Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth was also on the firm's board.  

The SFO exercised search warrants at the firm's office and at a private residence.  

"Most of the investors in WSD are overseas residents, so it is important that the SFO does all it can to protect New Zealand's reputation amongst both domestic and international investors as a well-regulated and safe place to invest," SFO director Adam Feeley said in a statement.  

WSD describes itself as an international company specialising in foreign exchange, precious metals, futures, options and CFD trading, and shot to the spotlight when director Riaz Patel was investigated by Cook Islands and Indian authorities.

WSD Global Markets is accredited as an NZX futures and options firm.  

The company is believed to be operating in New Zealand, Australia, Kenya, India, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the US, and the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission terminated WSD Financial's futures trading licence in June.  

In a background piece on WSD, the SFO statement says a former representative of one of the firms being investigated alleged the group was "nothing more than a ‘Ponzi' scheme".

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Comments from our readers

On 23 January 2011 at 6:12 am wsbc victim said: If what is stated in the above web site is correct, is SFO NZ Lying, Mr. Riaz Asgar Patel. Speak now you fraudster. Read below what SFO NZ says contrary to above. Feeley said there was a misconception the SFO had previously investigated WSBC. "In 2008 we simply provided assistance to the foreign authorities who were investigating WSBC." The file was closed once that role had been fulfilled, he said. In 2008 the Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission placed WSBC in statutory management and revoked the banking licence with effect from 31 December 2009.
On 22 April 2011 at 12:07 am marissa said:
displayed below us a link from the SFO website. April 2011 The Serious Fraud Office investigation into the affairs of WSD Global was completed in March 2011. After a close and careful consideration of all the evidence collected the Director reached the view that the laying of criminal charges was not warranted or appropriate and that the file should be closed. There is no fraud or impropreity committed by him and WSBC Victim seems to be a crazy man rambling about with nothing to do. good luck to him
On 14 February 2012 at 6:24 am WSBC Victim said:
Riaz Asgar Patel is a criminal; & crook, only not to be understood by NZ. for the following reasons. So who is crazy man u MF. 13 Feb, 2012, 03.04PM IST, The writer has posted comments on this articlePTI Black Money: Indians have stashed over $500 billion in banks abroad, says CBI "53 per cent of the countries said to be least corrupt by the Transparency International Index are offshore tax havens, where most of the corrupt money goes. The tax havens include New Zealand which is ranked as the least corrupt country, Singapore ranked number five and Switzerland number seven," Singh said. He said there is a lack of political will in the leading tax haven states to part with the information because they are aware of the extent to which their economies have become "geared to this flow of illegal capitals from the poorer countries
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