David Ross pleads guilty to all charges, remanded in custody
Aug. 29 (BusinessDesk) – David Ross, former manager of Ross Asset Management, pleaded guilty to five charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office and three charges by the Financial Markets Authority in the Wellington District Court and has been remanded in custody.
Ross faced four charges of false accounting and one of theft by a person in a special relationship. He had previously been charged on three counts in June.
The SFO charges alleged that Ross conducted “a Ponzi scheme which he disguised by falsely reporting clients’ investments,” according to a statement from the SFO. “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 were affected.
Judge Geoffrey Ellis remanded Ross in custody until Oct. 24 to set a sentencing date and ordered sentencing and reparation reports.
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.