Foreign exchange trader pleads not guilty to running Ponzi scheme that allegedly cost clients over $7 million

The Serious Fraud Office has announced that a foreign exchange trader has pleaded not guilty to allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that was designed to defraud his clients of more than $7 million.

A media release from the SFO states that Kelvin Clive Wood, 69, "pleaded not guilty at the Auckland District Court yesterday to representative charges of 'obtaining by deception' and 'theft by person in a special relationship' brought by the Serious Fraud Office."

The SFO alleges that Mr Wood created a Ponzi scheme after his foreign exchange brokerage began to suffer net trading losses.

"He allegedly used new investors' funds to pay other investors their reported gains or to refund principal investment without the permission or knowledge of investors.

"More than $7 million of investment principal belonging to 18 investors is believed to have been lost by the defendant over an eight-year period," the SFO says.

Mr Wood has been remanded on bail for a case review hearing at the Auckland District Court on March 20.

The Financial Markets Authority referred the case to the SFO to investigate in May 2017, according to the media release.