The man charged with the single biggest fraud in New Zealand history has pleaded guilty to $115 million fraud.
In the Wellington District Court this morning the former manager of Ross Asset Management, David Robert Gilmour Ross, 63, pleaded guilty to four charges of false accounting and one of theft by a person in a special relationship.
He also pleaded guilty to providing false information to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in applying to become an Authorised Financial Adviser.
The prosecution was brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the FMA.
Ross has been remanded in custody until October 24 for a sentencindate to be set.
Ross' lawyer Gary Turkington did not apply for bail.
SFO prosecutor Kristy McDonald asked the judge to order a reparation report.
The SFO charges alleged Ross ran a Ponzi scheme which he disguised by falsely reporting clients' investments.
He lured new investors to his Ross Asset Management (RAM) fund with promises of returns of up to 30 per cent.
Large portions of client portfolios were shown as invested through a non-existent broker 'Bevis Marks', resulting in a $380m overstatement of investment positions. Receivers have only recovered a fraction of this total.
More than 1,200 RAM client accounts had been affected by the scheme.
''While a guilty plea does not address the significant losses incurred by a large number of victims, it will bring some relief to those victims,'' SFO acting chief executive, Simon McArley said.
''SFO and FMA have worked well together, applying their respective specialist skills in order to progress the investigation quickly and enable this timely outcome.''
FMA head of enforcement Belinda Moffat said the financial adviser regime relied on advisers providing truthful information when they apply for any licence.
''Mr Ross' conduct has seriously undermined the integrity of that regime. We are committed to restoring investor confidence and will continue to respond immediately to investor complaints against market participants.''
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