10 Apr 2010

NZ man investigated for role in investment scam

7:59 pm on 10 April 2010

A New Zealand man is being investigated by Australian authorities over his role in an alleged multimillion-dollar investment scam.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission says David Hobbs, of Nelson, was the mastermind behind the scheme.

It says he controlled 14 funds used to extract $US42 million from more than 700 Australians since 2002.

The commission says investors were promised returns of up to 4% a month at no risk. Instead, funds were transferred to offshore accounts in New Zealand, Hong Kong and the United States, and some were used to pay monthly returns to other investors in what is known as a ponzi scam.

Only a portion of investors' funds was actually invested.