New Zealand’s biggest ever Ponzi scheme trial ends putting David Ross behind bars

Turns out losses of about $115 mln NZD cost about 10 years and 10 months in prison time

The New Zealand financial regulator NFA reports that David Ross has been sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison for executing the biggest ever fraud in New Zealand. He has lost about $115 mln NZD from investors in the span of about 12 years. His company Ross Asset Management went sour last year after informing customers continuously during that period that it was making false investments through a made-up broker named Bevis Marks.

The joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has revealed that Mr. Ross has run a Ponzi scheme between June 2000 and September 2012 losing investors’ funds to the tune of $ 115 mln NZD. The number of people affected is quite substantial with more than 1200 victims reporting to have invested in the scheme.

According to a report by the New Zeland TV station OneNews many of the defrauded clients find the sentence quite disappointing and demand more justice. The Bernard Madoff case resulted in a way longer sentence and if one compares the relative scale of the two cases it is quite similar. The report also states that Mr Ross was living in a mansion worth more than $ 2 mln NZD.

The SFO director Julie Read said that while the scheme has had a devastating impact on the victims’ lives, financial losses will trickle down to affect the country’s economy. FMA’s CEO Sean Hughes added that the law has been amended after the case and starting next year financial advisers who manage a customer’s money or property will no longer be able to be in direct possession of the assets.

For the full text of the press release following is a link to FMA’s website.

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