Creditors for a businessman behind a $10 million Ponzi scheme will likely receive nearly 60 cents in the dollar as his assets are distributed, receivers and liquidators estimate.
Steven Robertson was imprisoned last year after being prosecuted by the Financial Markets Authority over conducted at his shares trading company Prosper Through Trading (PTT).
The Auckland man who claimed he was "as good as John Key" was caught misappropriating millions of dollars from his clients to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included expensive cars and holidays using a private jet.
In 2015, as the FMA investigated, receivers were appointed over Robertson's companies and asset protection orders (APOs) were made for assets owned by him and his firms.
Now, Justice Matthew Palmer has made orders for the distribution of the assets to creditors.
In his decision, released last Friday evening, the receivers and liquidators estimate creditors will likely receive 59.52 cents in the dollar.
In August 2015, the High Court appointed David Bridgman and John Fisk, both partners at PwC, as the receivers and managers of assets owned by Robertson, the PTT Group companies (PTT Limited, Maxwell Foster Limited, Gibson McLeod Limited and Alba International Ltd), his wife Lisa Robertson, and Robertson and Xavier Trustees Limited as trustees of the Steven Robertson Family Trust.
Bridgman and Fisk were later appointed liquidators of the PTT Group companies and resigned as receivers, while in July 2016 the PTT Group companies were released from receivership and the APOs.
In September this year, the receivers and liquidators applied to the High Court for directions for a proposed distribution where creditors of both the receiverships and liquidations would share equally in the assets as much as possible.
"This is not straightforward, due to the intermingling of Mr Robertson's affairs with those of the various entities, the potential mismatch between the documentation and the intended relationships between Mr Robertson and his customers, and the likelihood the claims received in the receiverships and liquidations do not accurately reflect the overall likely creditor position," Justice Palmer said in his decision.
One of the assets of the trust was a sprawling mansion property in Waimauku, which was sold in October 2016 by court order and its mortgage repaid to ANZ.
While Fisk recognised some creditors would be individually worse off, and better off if an alternative distribution method was adopted, a final proposal distribution this month was seen as the fairest and most equitable way of distributing assets between creditors.
He said on the basis of the claims received, including an allowance for unconfirmed claims, creditors would likely receive 59.52 cents in the dollar.
Some $893,569.57 would satisfy the receivership creditors' claims, while $757,141.14 would be distributed on a pooled basis to all liquidation creditors. The receivership and liquidation creditors would also be treated on a pari passu (equal share) basis.
Fisk added the receivers and liquidators have not yet received the required supporting documentation in relation to some claims, amounting to $497,677.59, and sought an additional four months to allow those creditors to provide the necessary proof.
There are also claims, totalling $568,871, where the receivers and liquidators are satisfied but for which the bank account details have not yet been provided.
Fisk wanted to make further efforts to locate and contact those creditors over the next 12 months, which Justice Palmer agreed to.
"I consider the proposed orders bring this long-running saga to an end fairly," the judge said in his decision.
Justice Palmer also ordered the liquidation of the PTT Group companies to proceed together as if they were one company, and the net amount held by the liquidators will be treated as forming one common pool of assets for distribution, available to all creditors of the PTT Group.
In support of his sentencing submissions in the High Court, Robertson had also provided a binding undertaking that he would "in effect, co-operate in those funds [of Mr Robertson and the Steven Robertson Family Trust] being made available to meet the claims of [his] ... creditors".
This resulted in a 5 per cent discount to his six years and eight month sentence, with a non-parole period of three years and four months, which Robertson appealed but lost in June.
Robertson and the trustees of the family trust have executed a confidential settlement with the receivers and liquidators settling all claims between them. So has Lisa Robertson, now Lisa Coates.
In December 2015 Lisa Robertson, was released from receivership and management but the APOs continued over her assets.
A few months prior, a judge also ordered her wedding ring, possibly worth $92,000, be returned to her after it was included in the orders.
Today, one of Robertson's former business associates was also sentenced to 12 months' home detention for a foreign exchange investment fraud.
Rodney McCall, also known as Rodney Crichton, cold called his victims - some of whom had already fallen victim to the PTT scam - before convincing them to "invest".
FMA general counsel Nick Kynoch said many victims of Robertson and McCall had suffered significant losses and distress.
The regulator, he said, was pleased these investors would soon start to receive some of their money back.
"Victims of Robertson and McCall had their trust abused and many were plunged into financial uncertainty as a result, some fearing for their retirement prospects.
"Mr McCall's sentence reflects the consequences for continuing the PTT scam. He reinvented the scam through a new entity, despite being aware of the FMA's investigation into PTT and Mr Robertson."