The Federal Court in Queensland has ruled in favour of a class action by about 45,000 Pearls investors brought by Barrister Niall Coburn, a former investigator with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, and ruled against handing the money to Indian authorities.

More than $90 million funnelled to the Gold Coast by the masterminds behind India’s giant Pearls Group Ponzi scheme will be made available to victims and distributed under an Australian court-supervised remediation scheme.

In his findings, judge Michael Lee said “the only conclusion to be drawn was that without the actions of Mr Coburn and his legal team, the proceeds of the Sheraton Mirage sale and two luxury Gold Coast properties would “most likely have been put beyond the reach of investors”.