Liquidators move to unravel $17m Ponzi scheme

Paul Hibbs
Paul Hibbs
Liquidators have targeted another firm of a jailed fraudster as they try to unravel the Christchurch con man's $17 million Ponzi scheme.

Paul Clifford Hibbs last month was jailed for eight years for fleecing more than 20 investors and friends out of close to $17.5m.

The 49-year-old "weaved a web of deceit for eight years when dealing with client funds and their portfolios", Judge David Saunders said when sentencing Hibbs in the Christchurch District Court.

"The impact on your clients has been nothing short of devastating; you used the friendships you developed to breach the trust they placed in you to place their investments," Judge Saunders said.

Hibbs will not be eligible for parole until 2022 and has left a messy situation for liquidators to try to make sense of.

Waterstone Insolvency's Steven Khov and Damien Grant were appointed liquidators of Hibbs' firms Hansa and Cameron Gladstone Investments in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The firms, set up more than a decade ago, offered investment management services and financial advice.

The company's companies' affairs were intermingled and Khov and Grant believe total creditor claims could amount to $18m.

It is not yet known what payout - if any - will be made to creditors.

Khov and Grant have now made a bid to liquidate another of Hibbs' companies, Gladstone Cameron Partners, in an attempt to get a better picture of the Ponzi scheme.
"It's been a very frustrating process," Grant told the Herald.

"We've got no books and records now whatsoever from Mr Hibbs," he said.

While the Serious Fraud Office did have these sorts of documents, the agency, which prosecuted Hibbs, was holding onto them, Grant said.

"We are attempting to reconstruct the affairs of the company and it's a slow and difficult process," he said.

Khov's and Grant's liquidation application will be heard next month in the High Court at Christchurch.

Add a Comment