15 Nov 2012

Ross receivers can't find most of investments

8:02 pm on 15 November 2012

The receivers of Ross Asset Management say they have found only 2% of the $450 million in investments the failed company said it held.

The company had more than 900 investors.

The receivers, PWC, say they've only managed to secure $10 million in assets after a week's search.

They say returns to investors have probably been exaggerated and may possibly be fictitious.

PWC says it has identified three further entities within the Ross Group that should be also put into receivership, and that the Ross Group should to put into liquidation.

The Financial Markets Authority began investigating Ross Asset Management last month, after receiving complaints from investors who had been unable to withdraw funds.

It seized documents from the home and offices of high-profile Wellington businessman David Ross two weeks ago.

Effectively a 'ponzi scheme'

Receiver John Fisk told Checkpoint investors who entrusted their money to Mr Ross were effectively putting their cash into a ponzi scheme.

Mr Fisk says the money just can't be found and nor can shares purported to be held by the company.

"When we aggregate those shares across the portfolios, it would suggest that Ross Group would be within the top 20 shareholdings for a particular company and then when we look at the registries for those individual companies, there is no mention of Ross Asset Management or any other related company."

Mr Fisk says Mr Ross, who has been running the business for about 12 years, is currently in hospital.