Grant King rips off NZD $310,000 from US-based investor – the story of the fraud in the words of the victim, Mr Joe Simonetta.

Joe is to be commended for his willingness to tell his story publically – for every person who knows about Grant King and his opportunistic and strategic criminality, the less future victims there will be:

It was my misfortune to meet Grant King in Auckland in 1987.

It was my enormous misjudgement to invest a significant amount of money with him.

I am an American who lived in New Zealand near Nelson on the South Island for most of 1987.

I spent a few weeks in Auckland toward the end of 1987.

When I was about to return to the U.S., I read and responded to an advertisement placed by Grant King in an Auckland newspaper.

The ad described briefly an investment opportunity that yielded a high interest rate.

I contacted and met with King.

He explained that he was raising funds for small businesses in New Zealand.

He was lending these businesses modest sums. He explained it in detail to include the significant demand for these funds and the interest rates that he was charging.

At the time, it seemed reasonable.

I also liked that my funds would help small New Zealand businesses. I decided, far too quickly, to invest.

I insisted that there needed to be solid collateral for my funds, US

$USD 180,000 (NZ $310,000 at that time).

These funds represented a combination of my savings and a final payoff I had just received from a business I had sold in the U.S.

This investment with King was to finance my retirement as I had planned to allow the interest I was due to accrue for some years before taking payment.

King drew up an agreement dated November 16, 1987.

The agreement included the following four properties as collateral:

  1. 66 Mount Eden Road, Auckland.
  2. Victoria Park Market, Victoria Street, Auckland.
  3. Contemporary Jewellery, Chase Building, Lorne Street, Auckland.
  4. 11 Walters Road, Mount Eden, Auckland

Interest payments to me were to begin to accrue monthly on December 10, 1987.

I signed the agreement without checking his collateral, background, or character.

I thought I was a good judge of character and believed what he had presented.

What I should have done was checked with an Auckland attorney but I did not.

Naïve and gullible, I gave him the funds which would end up as a 100% loss to me.

I never received even one payment.

His collateral turned out to be worthless.

It took me many years to recover from this financial loss the magnitude of which at the time it occurred was devastating.

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