Ponzi scheme mastermind gets 8-year prison term in New Zealand

Maria Nikolova

Paul Hibbs, owner and operator of Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited, was sentenced today at the Christchurch District Court.

A Ponzi scheme operator who defrauded investors of more than $17.5 million was sentenced today at the Christchurch District Court, the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has announced.

Paul Hibbs, who owned and operated Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited, has been sentenced to eight years in prison with a minimum non-parole period of four years. As FinanceFeeds has reported, Mr Hibbs had previously pleaded guilty to charges of ‘False statement by promoter’, ‘Theft by person in special relationship’, ‘Using forged documents’ and ‘Forgery’.

Paul Hibbs was employed for a number of years as a private banker, dealing with high net worth individuals, buying and selling shares and managing clients’ investment portfolios. He left banking in 2002 and launched the investment advisory businesses, Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited, and later, Hansa Limited. Through these entities, he provided clients with false investment reports and used their funds for unauthorised activities, which included using the proceeds from sales of clients’ investments to pay other investors. Mr Hibbs also used client money for business expenses, including paying dividends, and for personal purposes.

The legal action comes after investors who suspected their money was misappropriated reported the matter to the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA). In response, the FMA published a notice about investigating Hansa and Mr Hibbs, and asked for more information from investors.

Both Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited and Hansa Limited have been put into liquidation. According to the first report by the liquidators of Hansa, the company failed to invest and manage the funds in line with the agreements signed with investors. Instead the company was run as a Ponzi scheme and Cameron Gladstone Investments Limited was also involved in the fraud.

Commenting on today’s sentence, SFO Director, Julie Read said:

“The sentence imposed today reflects the very serious nature of the offending. Mr Hibbs deceived his clients in a number of ways resulting in significant monetary losses. The prosecution of such matters is an important aspect of protecting New Zealand’s reputation as a safe place to invest and do business. People engaged in this sort of misconduct will be prosecuted and held to account.”

Read this next

Digital Assets

Web3 platform Grand Time paid $2 million in token earnings to date

Community-driven Web3 platform Grand Time said its offering – which includes a multifaceted platforms and its native token – has been gaining significant traction highlighted by impressive operational metrics.

Institutional FX

FX volumes at MOEX halved in April as ruble gains gorund

Currency trading at Moscow Exchange (MOEX) halted its upward route in April as monthly volumes nearly halved from a month earlier.

Digital Assets

FTX US adds stock trading, fractional shares to crypto platform

FTX US, the American subsidiary of crypto exchange FTX has kicked off stock trading feature to its customers in an effort to compete with popular platforms such as Robinhood and eToro.

Industry News

UK FCA empowered to remove brokers’ permissions in 28 days

Businesses with permissions they don’t need or use, risk misleading consumers. These new powers will enable us to take quicker action to cancel permissions that are not used or needed.

Industry News

CFTC charges $44m Ponzi scheme but millions may have fled to foreign crypto exchange

The CFTC alleged that defendants transferred millions of dollars to an off-shore entity that, in turn, may have transferred funds to a foreign cryptocurrency exchange. None of these funds were returned to the pool.


Saxo Bank deploys Adenza to address Basel and EBA requirements

The integration of ControllerView will enhance Basel-driven capital calculations and reporting at Saxo Bank in support of the bank’s multijurisdictional capital and liquidity reporting requirements throughout Denmark, Switzerland and UK, with plans to expand into the Netherlands.

Executive Moves

ComplySci appoints CTO, CPO, and CLO to further regtech’s product expansion

ComplySci offers compliance software used by more than 1400 global institutions to identify risk and address regulatory compliance challenges.

Digital Assets

Thailand closer to launch digital asset exchange “to serve the needs of younger generations”

TDX is a subsidiary of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and its incorporation is part of the group’s strategic position to connect capital markets, open opportunities for the business sector in raising funds and cater to investment demand of new generations.

Digital Assets

Russia to legalize cryptocurrency payments as sanctions bite

Russia could soon be the latest country to lay down ground rules for legalizing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that digital assets are here to stay.