Complaints were filed with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in connection to a group of 30 New Zealand investors who lost nearly $7 million. The investors claim to have lost $6.7 million investing with Tony Lusby. Lusby, a Hamilton, New Zealand, man who is now living in Panama, admits that the money is gone. He claims the money was lost due to a combination of “misappropriating funds” and bad decisions. He claims, however, that he wants to put things right.
The complaint against Lusby was investigated, as confirmed by the Serious Fraud Office, but no further steps could be taken because Lusby’s actions did not occur in New Zealand. In addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the SFO, complaints were also filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Over 30 New Zealand investors are among a total of 67 investors from Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand who lost around $6.7 million. The 20 U.S. investors lost a total of around $1 million.
Investors were persuaded to partake in an investment scheme in Lusby’s Lifestyles Investment Group fund. According to Lusby, the scheme “would deliver returns of between 28 and 30-32 percent per annum by trading equities.” The scheme began in 2007 and didn’t cease until October of 2010. Over that period, at least 90 percent of the money was lost in the market.
According to Lusby, in addition to misappropriating funds, bad decisions — such as $200,000 in investments into a Panama bar that later went out of business and $750,000 in investments in a failed merger — are the cause of the loss. Lusby would prefer to trade out of his mess and fears the possibility of going to jail. According to Auckland barrister Mark van Leewarden, Lusby “is very elusive, very hard to get ahold of.”
If you believe you have been the victim of stockbroker negligence, contact an investment attorney for help. The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray can be reached at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.