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Lawyer will have to pay back Ponzi profits

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from a Wellington lawyer who wanted to keep profits of more than $450,000 he made from New Zealand's biggest ever Ponzi scheme.

In a judgement issued on Friday, the Supreme Court has upheld liquidators' claims for $454,047 from Hamish McIntosh.

In April 2007, Mr McIntosh put $500,000 into investment service Ross Asset Management and was provided reports showing his investment had risen to $954,047.

Before it was discovered that RAM was committing fraud and the company was placed into receivership, and then liquidation, Mr McIntosh was paid out his investment plus the fictitious profits.

Mr McIntosh appealed to the Supreme Court to keep his profit from RAM following an order from the High Court to return it to the company's liquidators for distribution to creditors.

The Supreme Court decided, by majority, that Mr McIntosh should receive only his initial investment back, under sections of the Companies Act and Property Law Act.

An appeal by creditors to receive some of his $500,000 was dismissed.

Between June 2000 and September 2012, RAM founder David Ross reported false profits of $351 million from fictitious securities trading.

He fleeced at least 700 investors out of $100m and was jailed for 10 years and 10 months in 2013.

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