Ponzi Scheme Payments Disputed

Friday 16 July 2004

Hundreds of Waikato and Bay of Plenty investors who lost more than $20 million in a prime bank instrument scheme run by Donald Moris Rea could receive differing payouts depending on when they joined the scheme.

By The Landlord

In the High Court in Auckland this week Justice Hugh Williams reserved judgment on whether the investors should each receive equal payouts or if the assets should be divvied up in favour of those who were the first - or the last - to chuck their money into the ponzi scheme.

Statutory managers, John Waller and Richard Agnew of PricewaterhouseCoopers estimate about $30 million was invested in the scheme by 300 people, mostly in the Bay of Plenty. There is $9 million left funds to pay investors excluding ongoing statutory management costs.

PwC's lawyer, Bell Gully partner Murray Tingey, argued the assets should be divided equally between investors who suffered a "common misfortune" by believing their money would be held in a trust account.

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