Wellington financial advisor David Robert Gilmour Ross (63) pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court yesterday to charges alleging he ran a Ponzi scheme that resulted in an overstatement of investment positions by more than $380 million.
The net loss to investors was $115 million.
The Serious Fraud Office & the Financial Markets Authority began a joint investigation into Ross Asset Management Ltd & related entities last October, resulting in 4 SFO charges of false accounting and one of theft by a person in a special relationship.
A fortnight later, the Financial Markets Authority charged Mr Ross with one count of providing a financial service when he wasn’t registered for that service, one count of knowingly making a false or misleading declaration or representation to the authority for the purposes of obtaining authorisation to become an authorised financial advisor, and one count of supplying information or producing documents to the authority which he knew to be false or misleading.
The Serious Fraud Office alleged Mr Ross conducted a Ponzi scheme which he disguised by falsely reporting clients’ investments. Large portions of client portfolios shown as invested through a broker ‘Bevis Marks’ were fictitious & never existed, resulting in the overstatement of investment positions by more than $380 million.
More than 1200 client accounts were affected by Mr Ross’s scheme.
Mr Ross has been remanded in custody to reappear on 24 October to set a sentencing date.
Attribution: SFO & FMA release.