Wellington Scoop

$115m ponzi scheme: fraudster David Ross leaving jail in February


Report from RNZ
The Wellington man responsible for New Zealand’ s biggest fraud will be released from jail in February after serving slightly more than six years.

David Ross, the former director of the failed company Ross Asset Management, was jailed in November 2013 for 10 years and 10 months, with a minimum non-parole period of half that time.

The ponzi scheme he’d been running collapsed in 2012, owing investors $115 million, and he pleaded guilty to charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority.

Ross, 69, previously told the Parole Board that his offending occurred after a “mistake” was made, which led to the business being turned into a ponzi scheme. He conceded to the board that he was over‑confident he could correct the error of the over‑valuation of the portfolios and acknowledged that he was misguided in doing so.

In his latest appearance, the board found he displayed a “deep and sincere remorse” for his offending.

“He acknowledges that it has had a very material impact on his victims and said he is deeply sorry that he is unable to put things right,” the board’s decision said.

The decision to release him in February is subject to him securing accommodation for his release. He plans to move to a small town, living off his pension to avoid what the board describes as his former “cocktail circuit lifestyle”.

The board said Ross should be given the opportunity for treatment, and counselling should focus on his past manipulative behaviour and his willingness to deceive.

It said he posed a low risk of re-offending, and there would be a number of strict conditions that Ross would have to adhere to upon his release in February.

He was prohibited from holding any advisory or governance roles with any business, trust, company or other entity unless he had been granted written approval from a probation officer.

Ross was not to engage in any employment, which included voluntary and unpaid work, and was barred from providing business advice and managing financial accounts with any person. He was also barred from contacting any of the victims of his offending directly or indirectly.