5 Jan 2015

Bad news for ponzi scheme victims

10:31 am on 5 January 2015

Victims of New Zealand's largest ponzi scheme are dealing with bad news as they start the new year.

David Ross.

David Ross. Photo: RNZ

In 2013, David Ross was jailed for more than 10 years for running a multimillion-dollar ponzi scheme.

Just before Christmas the Inland Revenue Department told investors in the failed scheme to expect only a partial tax refund.

Read Bruce Tichbon's letter to the Minister of Commerce

Read the Ministerial response

Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith said the Government was unlikely to change the law allowing investors to claw back money from those who benefited from the scheme.

A spokesperson for the investors Bruce Tichbon said the IRD was arguing some of Ross' work was legitimate and therefore those aspects were taxable.

Mr Tichbon said for many investors a tax refund was probably all they would get back, and that their treatment was unfair.

"We estimate broadly there's probably $20 million due to come back, and we think we're probably recovering a third or less than that.

"So it's really a small proportion that's coming back, the Government is getting two thirds back in tax on the money that was stolen."

Mr Tichbon said investors were preparing a legal challenge over their treatment in the case.

Ross was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months, with a minimum non-parole period of half that time.

The ponzi scheme he had been running had collapsed, owing investors $115 million, and he had pleaded guilty to charges laid by the SFO and the Financial Markets Authority.

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