$5.4m Ponzi admitted

New Zealand investors have lost $5.4 million in another Ponzi scheme.

Wednesday, September 6th 2017, 1:59PM

Shane Scott admitted in the High Court today that he had defrauded his friends and associates.

He first appeared in the Auckland District Court on 17 January and initially entered a plea of not guilty but today entered guilty pleas to four charges of obtaining by deception, 20 charges of theft by person in special relationship, one charge of using document with intent to  and two charges of obtaining by false pretense.

Scott was operating a Ponzi scheme, using money obtained from new investors to pay returns to previous investors. There was no direct evidence of any legitimate investments.

Scott had some friends and associates who invested with him over a number of years and some who were relatively short-term. The long-term investors believed he had been working on various overseas investments. The short-term investors believed they would receive high returns in relation to property developments and exporting/importing deals.

The fraud amounted to about $5.4m.

Serious Fraud Office director Julie Read said: “Scott’s admission provides the victims with some closure and the SFO welcomes the opportunity to save public money as the result of the matter not going to trial. We do, however, want to reiterate the importance of checking that investment information is legitimate, whether you are investing with friends, associates or strangers.

"A few simple checks could save you money. Those thinking of investing should refer to advice on the SFO, Financial Markets Authority and Commerce Commission websites.”

Tags: commerce commission FMA fraud investment ponzi serious fraud office

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