David Ross loses appeal; court upholds original prison sentence

BusinessDesk report by Jonathan Underhill
Former Wellington financial advisor David Ross, who swindled some 1,200 investors out of about $155 million, has lost a Court of Appeal bid for a reduction in how much time he spends in prison before eligible for parole, a decision welcomed by market regulators.

“We believe that the decision to uphold the original sentence reflects the seriousness of Mr Ross’s criminal offending and the significant harm that his behaviour has caused to investors,” the Financial Markets Authority and Serious Fraud Office said in a joint statement. The two regulators “welcome the decision.”

Wellington-based Ross built up a private investment service by word of mouth, producing regular reports for shareholders indicating healthy but fictitious returns. Between June 2000 and September 2012, Ross reported false profits of $351 million from fictitious securities trading as part of a fraud that was the largest single such crime committed by an individual in New Zealand.

Ross is facing a minimum non-parole period of five years and five months under his current sentence of 10 years and 10 months, a period his lawyers unsuccessfully argued was “manifestly excessive” or “inappropriate.”

“Liar and a thief”

 

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