CORRECT: David Ross appears at District Court hearing, remanded until Aug.29
(Corrects name of PwC’s David Bridgman in sixth paragraph of story that first ran Aug. 22)
Aug. 22 (BusinessDesk) – David Ross, the Ponzi-accused former manager of Ross Asset Management, appeared in the District Court in Wellington this morning for substantive hearings on eight Crimes and Financial Advisers Act charges.
He was remanded until Aug. 29. All aspects of today’s hearing were supressed.
Ross faces charges relating to $384.8 million of assets recorded in the accounts of a Ross vehicle, Bevin Marks, at Sept 30 last year, which court documents describe as being the product of “fictitious transactions.”
The Serious Fraud Office alleges large portions of Ross’s client portfolios were invested through a related broker Bevis Marks, with the value overstated by more than $380 million. A Ponzi scheme is a money-go-round arrangement which uses cash from new investors to pay returns to existing members, who typically think they’re reaping the rewards of an astute investment plan.
Ross Asset Management’s assets were frozen and receivers appointed last year by the Financial Markets Authority after the watchdog received complaints about delayed or non-payment of investor funds. Ross wasn’t available in the early days of the investigation due to his hospitalisation under the Mental Health Act.
Last month, PwC’s John Fisk and David Bridgman, who were appointed to preserve the assets of the Ross family and related trusts as part of the wider investigation into Ross Asset Management, sold $199,000 of paintings from his Lower Hutt mansion.