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Former real estate developer found guilty of fraud

A former property developer has been found guilty of fraud in relation to obtaining funds from SMSF investors following an ASIC investigation.

Former Queensland property developer Craig Kirrin Gore has been found guilty of six counts of fraud involving amounts totalling $345,000 following an earlier five-day judge-alone trial at Brisbane District Court.

Mr Gore was initially arrested on 14 April 2017 after being charged with fraud relating to him obtaining funds totalling $800,000 from self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) investors during 2013 and 2014.

The case by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) focused on Mr Gore obtaining funds from SMSF investors through his role at Arion Financial Pty Ltd (Arion).

Investors were presented with information that they could invest in debentures, with a range of promises including a guaranteed return, high returns and that the funds could be returned after a short-term period of investment.

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The court found that in relation to four SMSF clients, Mr Gore was aware of the poor financial state of Arion at the time these representations were made to them, and that there was no real prospect of Arion repaying the invested amounts or the interest.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation and referral of a prosecution brief by ASIC.

While his trial proceeded on 12 counts of fraud, Mr Gore was found not guilty on five counts, with a further sixth count being dismissed because the court could not be satisfied that the offending took place within the Queensland jurisdiction.

Mr Gore was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 26 November 2020.

The charges of fraud carry potential maximum penalties of between five and 12 years.

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Managing corporations while disqualified

Mr Gore is also facing three charges of acting in the management of three corporations (MOGS Pty Ltd, Sleipner Financial Pty Ltd and Arion) while disqualified from doing so.

However, these matters did not form part of the fraud trial and will return to the Magistrates Court for mention on 13 November 2020.

These charges each carry a maximum penalty of a one-year imprisonment or 50 penalty units.

[Related: Federal court winds up illegal investment scheme]

Former real estate developer found guilty of fraud
Former real estate developer found guilty of fraud
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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