Hamish McIntosh fights to keep Ross Asset Management profits
Wellington lawyer Hamish McIntosh is fighting to keep almost half a million dollars he withdrew from New Zealand's largest ponzi scheme.
McIntosh has appealed to the Supreme Court to keep about $450,000 in "fictitious" profits from Ross Asset Management (RAM) following an order from the High Court to return it to the company's liquidators for distribution to creditors.
McIntosh initially invested $500,000 in RAM and argued he should not have to repay the profits he received because the investment was terminated and paid out through their contractual agreement and before the company collapsed.
He said despite the profit being fictitious, his initial investment would still be worth more now.
* Court of Appeal rejects Wellington lawyer's bid to keep profits from Ross ponzi
* Lawyer Hamish McIntosh taking fight to keep Ross ponzi profits to Supreme Court
* Ross Asset Management liquidators counter Hamish McIntosh profits appeal
* Wellington RAM investor Hamish McIntosh yet to decide on appeal
Mike Colson, lawyer for RAM's liquidators said: "You can not say that the misappropriation of funds is value".
RAM was promoted as a boutique investment service.
Hundreds of customers believed RAM was managing more than $400 million on their behalf, after he presented them with statements showing exceptionally strong returns.
However, founder David Ross was using customer deposits to cover the withdrawals of others, until the company ran out of cash.
Investors were left more than $100m out of pocket based on their original deposits, while others were able to withdraw large amounts of what turned out to be fictitious profits before the company was raided by the Financial Markets Authority.
Ross, 65, was creating fictitious, inflated returns with customer deposits being used to cover the shortfall created when others withdrew money from the company.
Ross was jailed for 10 years and 10 months in 2013 for operating a fraudulent scheme that fleeced at least 700 investors through portfolios in which they thought they had more than $380m.
Some investors walked away with large profits before the collapse of which McIntosh was one.
In the Supreme Court on Wednesday, details of McIntosh's financial position, including his personal circumstances discussed via email with his banks, architects and Ross, were suppressed.
Justice William Young said they would consider lifting the suppression order in the court's judgment.
PWC has written to dozens of investors who withdrew money asking them to agree to a standstill agreement pending the outcome of the McIntosh case. PWC is coming up against the time limit to beginning legal proceedings against other investors.
Some have refused to sign the arrangements, so PWC has begun legal proceedings.
PWC has also agreed settlements with some former investors who wanted to have matters dealt with.
The Supreme Court decision will be a test case for how much the liquidators can claw back from investors.
The judges reserved their decision.