Caveat Emptor

I have zero sympathy for “victims” of Ponzi schemes.


Ponzi “Master Mind” David Ross / via Stuff

In 2013, David Ross was jailed for more than 10 years for running a multimillion-dollar ponzi scheme.

Just before Christmas the Inland Revenue Department told investors in the failed scheme to expect only a partial tax refund.

Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith said the Government was unlikely to change the law allowing investors to claw back money from those who benefited from the scheme.

A spokesperson for the investors Bruce Tichbon said the IRD was arguing some of Ross’ work was legitimate and therefore those aspects were taxable.

Mr Tichbon said for many investors a tax refund was probably all they would get back, and that their treatment was unfair.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could write off all our bad decisions against our tax bill?  I’m sure all those speeding tickets could be expensed for starters.

“We estimate broadly there’s probably $20 million due to come back, and we think we’re probably recovering a third or less than that.

“So it’s really a small proportion that’s coming back, the Government is getting two thirds back in tax on the money that was stolen.”

Ross was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months, with a minimum non-parole period of half that time.

The ponzi scheme he had been running had collapsed, owing investors $115 million, and he had pleaded guilty to charges laid by the SFO and the Financial Markets Authority.

The people who took their “winnings” out of the scheme before it collapsed aren’t being asked to hand their money back, so I don’t see why those who lost in the deal should get a tax break on poor diligence.

To do so would sent a precedent that the NZ tax payer will provide “bad investment insurance”.

No.  No.  And No again.

Why do they call gamblers “investors” when they participated in a  greed induced ponzi scheme?



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.