David Ross to appeal jail sentence

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 12:58 16/12/2013
David Ross
CHRIS SKELTON/Fairfax NZ
JAIL TIME: David Ross was behind the country's biggest single fraud.

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New Zealand's biggest ever fraudster David Ross is appealing his jail sentence on the grounds it is either "manifestly excessive" or "inappropriate".

Ross' lawyer Gary Turkington today confirmed an appeal against the five years and five months minimum non-parole period was filed last Friday.

He expected the appeal might be heard in April or May next year, though "there's no rush about it".

Last month Ross, of Lower Hutt, was sentenced in Wellington District Court to 10 years and 10 months jail for the single biggest individual fraud in New Zealand history.

The 63-year-old stole about $115m from at least 700 investors through a Ponzi scheme in which they thought they had more than $380m.

He must serve a minimum non- parole period of half of the sentence - five years and five months.

This is equivalent to roughly one day for every $60,000 he stole from investors.

Turkington said Ross was appealing this minimum period, however, on the grounds it was either "manifestly excessive" or "inappropriate".

He said the appeal would likely take about a day.

"The grounds are as simple as that."

Turkington would not say anything more about the appeal at this stage.

Investors who provided victim impact statements during Ross' sentencing in November told him to "rot in hell" and said he was "the worst sort of person".

Judge Denys Barry had said during sentencing Ross was a liar and a thief on a scale unprecedented in New Zealand.

Any reparation was a drop in a bucket and no prison sentence could help the victims or provide them with solace, he said.

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- The Dominion Post

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