Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

We want Ross 'poor' after jail, say ponzi victims

David Ross leaving after an appearance in the District Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
David Ross leaving after an appearance in the District Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

David Ross' out-of-pocket investors want the Wellington financial adviser to get the maximum jail sentence possible and also to be "living on the dole" on his release from prison.

The 63-year-old today pleaded guilty to charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority in the Wellington District Court, including four of false accounting and one of theft be a person in a special relationship.

The SFO charges alleged 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 and never existed, resulting in an overstatement of investment positions by more than $380 million.

More than 1,200 RAM client accounts have been affected by Ross' scheme, authorities said in a statement today.

An Auckland couple, who had less than $100,000 invested with Ross and do not want to be identified, want the 63-year-old to be jailed for a long period of time.

The maximum penalty for one of the charges is seven years in prison.

"I want to see him put in jail for as long as possible and when he comes out to be seen to be poor and behave as if he is poor and not have access to secret trust funds which I wouldn't be all surprised are hidden somewhere," said one of the pair.

The couple said Ross should end up worse off financially than many of the investors caught up in his company, Ross Asset Management.

"I would like to see the cars and the houses go and them living the dole."

Ross was remanded in custody this morning but while on bail was living his Lower Hutt home, which has been frozen by the FMA.

The financial adviser's property has a capital value of $2.2 million, according to QV.

SFO acting chief executive Simon McArley said that while the guilty plea "does not address the significant losses incurred by a large number of victims, it will bring some relief to those victims".

Ross will reappear in court in October where a sentencing date will be set.

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