Investment fraud prevention by Consumer Protection (Enforceable undertaking with Peter Melvin Kleinig)
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Consumer Protection has taken legal action to stop a 65-year-old WA man from taking other people’s money and sending it to West African criminals who are pretending to run an investment scheme.
The Commissioner for Consumer Protection has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with Peter Melvin Kleinig. The undertaking prevents Mr Kleinig from soliciting or accepting funds for the purpose of any investment or to assist with fees for the supposed release of funds from a bank account in Ghana.
Financial intelligence data shows that since 2007 Mr Kleinig has sent millions of dollars to places such as Togo and Ghana. He has told WA Police Major Fraud Squad Detectives that the funds go to a silver and gold company, however the name of the company and supposed investment certificates supplied were found to be bogus.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard says Mr Kleinig has ignored repeated attempts by authorities to convince him that he is being defrauded.
“Officers from our anti-fraud initiative Project Sunbird have spent a lot of time trying to prove to Mr Kleinig that the silver and gold investment company, he believes in, does not exist. In 2015, police in Ghana reportedly made nine arrests in relation to the defrauding of Mr Kleinig and his friend Fred Williams who had invested $2 million. Even news of these arrests did not deter Mr Kleinig from continuing to solicit funds from others to send overseas.
“It’s extremely sad that Peter Kleinig has lost his life savings and refuses to accept that he is at the centre of an investment fraud. However, when the actions of a victim present a financial risk to other members of the community, authorities have a responsibility to step in to protect the public. That’s why we have entered into this Court enforceable undertaking.”
Mr Hillyard said affected consumers who have ‘invested’ money with Mr Kleinig span the state; from the Swan Valley to Armadale, Albany and Esperance.
“Since 2009 Mr Kleinig has received money from various people for assistance, on the promise of repayment of their principal amount, plus a reward. In June 2015 Mr Kleinig even advertised in The West Australian newspaper soliciting funds for assistance to transfer to an overseas investment, offering lucrative returns for that assistance.
“Anyone wanting to invest money should not give it to Peter Melvin Kleinig, or anyone like him who is not licensed or qualified to deal with other people’s money.”
Consumer Protection figures show that in 2015, 39 victims reported losing about $1.38million between them to investment scams. For that reason Consumer Protection strongly recommends using stock brokers and financial services providers licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and listed at www.asic.gov.au or www.moneysmart.gov.au.
Last year a Moora pensioner was named by Consumer Protection because he posed a financial risk to the community; sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to overseas criminals under the guise of an investment scheme. An Enforceable Undertaking is also in place for that individual.
Undertakings can be viewed on the Consumer Protection website at: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/undertakings.
Anyone wishing to make a report about an investment or relationship fraud can call Project Sunbird on 1300 30 40 54.
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