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Investment advice for high-net-worth clients - or a Ponzi scheme?

A man accused of running a Ponzi scheme targeting high-net-worth individuals has appeared in court.

Tuesday, June 20th 2017, 3:42PM 1 Comment

Julie Read, SFO director

Paul Hibbs, 48,  appeared in the Christchurch District Court, in relation to a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution.

Hibbs faces charges of "false statement by promoter", "theft by person in special relationship", "using forged documents" and "forgery".

The SFO alleges that from around 2008, two legitimate businesses owned and operated by  Hibbs, Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited, developed into a Ponzi scheme.

It is alleged that Hibbs provided clients with false reports in relation to their investments - for example, that he sold investments without clients’ knowledge, that he falsely reported the proceeds of sales were held in cash management accounts or that investments had been purchased.

It is also alleged Hibbs used investors’ funds for purposes other than required, for example, using clients’ funds to make payments of capital or investment returns to other clients.

SFO director Julie Read said, “'The SFO alleges that Hibbs went to some lengths to ensure that information provided to investors looked genuine. Investors who suspected that that their money was being misappropriated took the right action in reporting the matter to the FMA who referred the matter to the SFO.”

Hibbs will reappear in the Christchurch District Court on July 12.

Investors have been told that at least $20 million is missing. One couple told media they had been duped out of $650,000.

It is believed Hansa offered investment advice to high-net-worth individuals.

Tags: serious fraud office

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Comments from our readers

On 21 June 2017 at 8:41 am MPT Heretic said:
Looks like another example of a 'wholesale' investment offer gone wrong yet the FMA and MBIE still refuse to acknowledge the glaring gap in regulatory oversight in this part of the market. Its wont be the last

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