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Ross family paintings sold for $199k, receiver runs the ruler over properties, share portfolio

Friday 5th July 2013

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The receiver for accused Ponzi scheme operator David Ross sold about $199,000 of family paintings and is looking at the family-owned properties as he tries to unravel the affairs of Ross Asset Management.

PwC's John Fisk and Duncan Bridgman have been appointed to preserve the assets of the Ross family and related trusts as part of the wider investigation into Ross Asset Management, and are trying to work out whether investor money from the fund manager was used to pay for any of the family's properties, according to their latest report. Ross Asset Management has a claim of almost $3.5 million against David Ross and the trusts.

Ross appeared briefly in the Wellington District Court this morning, where hearings on eight charges under the Crimes and Financial Advisers Act were adjourned for hearings on Aug 22.

The receivers' report says the money raised from the auctioned paintings, which were jointly owned by David and Jillian Ross, are being held in a trust account, and is expected to be used to meet their legal costs by the Financial Markets Authority's investigation.

The Ross receivers are investigating whether any Ross Asset Management funds were used to buy a Lower Hutt property and a bare section in Riversdale Beach, and are still trying to work out what to do with the Ross family home, which was bought before the fund manager was set up.

Various share held by the Ross family and other entities are being looked into, though the receivers aren't currently taking any action.

In a report on the Ross Asset Management liquidators' committee meeting last month, PwC's Fisk said investors and creditors are expected to receive a net $4.2 million as he liquidates the share portfolio, which is valued at $5.9 million. Some $1.5 million had been realised as of yesterday, with a further $3.7 million to go, and proprietary claims of $993,000.

Ross Asset Management's assets were frozen and receivers appointed last year by the FMA after the watchdog received complaints about delayed or non-payment of investor funds. Ross wasn't available in the early days of the investigation due to his hospitalisation under the Mental Health Act.

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