Rodney McCall pleads guilty to Crimes Act and FMA Act charges

Rodney McCall, also known as Rodney Crichton, has today plead guilty to charges brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

In the Manukau District Court, Mr McCall plead guilty to:

  • Two representative charges of obtaining by deception under section 240 of the Crimes Act 1961;
  • One representative charge of dishonestly using a document under section 228 of the Crimes Act 1961; and
  • Two charges of obstruction of the FMA’s powers under section 61(1)(b) of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.

The FMA filed 21 charges against Mr McCall in May 2019, which have been grouped as representative charges.

Mr McCall cold called people and convinced them to ‘invest’ by transferring money into bank accounts he controlled, obtaining just under $100,000 from the people he contacted. The investments made to him were instead spent by him on personal expenditure.

The initial investors were also investors in PTT Limited, which Mr McCall used to work for. PTT’s director, Steven Robertson, was last year sentenced to six years, eight months’ imprisonment and his appeal to reduce his sentence was rejected by the Court of Appeal last week.

After incorporating a company, Morgan Cooper Limited, Mr McCall contacted other investors to promote a foreign exchange investment service which did not exist. Neither he, nor his company was authorised or licensed by the FMA, but he claimed he would invest funds on investors’ behalf.

Mr McCall also obstructed the exercise of the FMA’s powers during the investigation by providing false evidence in purported compliance with a notice issued to him under section 25 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.

The FMA said this was an important case because Mr McCall preyed on vulnerable people, including re-victimising those who had invested with PTT Limited, purporting to offer a legitimate investment prospect. This was compounded by Mr McCall’s obstruction of the FMA’s investigation, which led to additional charges.

The regulator will comment further at sentencing.

Sentencing has been scheduled for 23 July 2020 at 11.45am in the Manukau District Court.

The maximum penalty for each of the charges under the Crimes Act is seven years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for obstruction of FMA powers is a fine $300,000.

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