24 Mar 2018

Ponzi scheme fraudster jailed

7:46 am on 24 March 2018

A Christchurch man who cheated investors out of $17 million through a Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Paul Clifford Hibbs, 49, was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four fraud related charges.

Mr Hibbs owned two investment companies - Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited, the Serious Fraud Office said (SFO).

He provided the company's clients with falsified investment reports while using their funds to pay out other investors.

He also used the money for personal expenses and to pay dividends.

The Financial Markets Authority initially spotted the scheme and referred it to the Serious Fraud Office - who investigated and laid the charges.

SFO Director Julie Read said the offending was very serious and Mr Hibbs' sentence reflected that.

"Mr Hibbs deceived his clients in a number of ways resulting in significant monetary losses.

"People engaged in this sort of misconduct will be prosecuted and held to account," she said.

Mr Hibbs worked until 2002 as a private banker before setting up the investment companies.

He was not a registered financial services provider.

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