Convicted fraudster ordered to pay up

Waikato air show fraudster Ken Ross has taken another financial hit, this time being ordered to pay thousands of dollars to an elderly grandmother he claimed was his business partner.

Bay of Plenty woman Rita Davies took Ross to the Disputes Tribunal seeking repayment of $15,000.

Mrs Davies, 86, said she was never in any business relationship with Ross and claims money she gave him was "intended to help a friend out".

The pair attended a Disputes Tribunal hearing in Whakatane on November 1, with a referee finding in Mrs Davies' favour.

Earlier this year Mrs Davies revealed Ross was allegedly threatening to sue her for more than $200,000 after his latest business venture nose-dived.

The business involved refurbishing freight containers into dwellings.

In a letter and documents sent to her on July 6, Ross accused Mrs Davies of breaching an alleged commitment to fund his new business - ISBU project.

He said Mrs Davies' "breach of contract" had cost him $209,937 plus breach of contractual agreement costs.

Ross later told the Waikato Times he had no intention of pursuing Mrs Davies for costs.

In 2009, Ross was found guilty of fraud in relation to his failed Wings and Wheels over Waikato air show, which left sponsors and exhibitors about $350,00 out of pocket.

Ross was sentenced to home detention and community work.

Mrs Davies met Ross after her daughter, Margaret Sinclair, allowed Ross to serve his home detention at her Hamilton house.

Despite the tribunal's finding, Mrs Davies said she was not hopeful of recouping her money from Ross.

"The hearing went very, very well but I don't think anything will come of this.

"At the hearing Ken talked for about an hour about how I was going to fund his container business but the referee took about four minutes to more or less throw it out.

"I think Ken thought he was on to a good thing because he thought I was an old, naive woman, but he was wrong and he needs stopping."

Mrs Davies said Ross was ordered to sell his converted container and use the money to pay her.

Ross did not respond to a Waikato Times request for comment.

Waikato Times