“.. Evan Paul Cherry, a slight, bespectacled 53-year-old Aucklander, clutched a small overnight bag in the dock of North Shore District Court last Friday as he quietly admitted to lies spanning more than a decade.
Cherry, an unregistered financial adviser, pleaded guilty to stealing $4.7 million from more than 175 investors, who once trusted him.
Instead of investing in shares, notes, bonds or listed companies as promised, he had played an elaborate game of financial musical chairs since 2001 – with $2.7m being recycled back to his investors in what is popularly known as a Ponzi scheme.
But Cherry had also taken his cut for running the unsustainable scheme – with $582,000 being used to directly pay for personal expenses – including the mortgage on a $1.3m, 344-square-metre home in a gated community in the Auckland suburb of Coatesville -
- a boat – and lease payments on a range of luxury cars including Porsches and Audis.
His new girlfriend – he split with his wife, Karen, when he came under the spotlight of the Serious Fraud Office in June last year – held his hand and gave him a kiss before he went to the dock.
Cherry’s fraud had also paid for his daughter to attend Pinehurst School, an exclusive private Albany establishment where annual fees run to $15,000.
Now, Cherry’s red overnight bag was evidence the music had well and truly stopped.
His lawyer conceded that jail was an inevitability – and did not bother to entertain the possibility of electronic monitoring.
Cherry was remanded in custody until sentencing on December 11..”
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