Business News

SMSF fraudster sentenced to prison

The County Court of Victoria has convicted and sentenced Barry Patrick to six years and three months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to six charges following an investigation by ASIC.

Patrick, 73, from Sunbury, Victoria, pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining property by deception, two charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, and one charge of carrying on a financial services business without a licence.

He will be eligible for parole after serving three years and nine months.

Patrick nominated investors to be directors of a number of companies formed to purchase properties on the outskirts of Melbourne for development.

Those companies were Wrestway Property Development Pty Ltd, Exclusive Property Consultants Pty Ltd, Compendium Holdings Pty Ltd and Integrated Consolidated Holdings Pty Ltd.

To obtain funds for the property development projects, Patrick persuaded investors to refinance their homes and/or establish SMSFs, and then invest their superannuation in the developments.

Between 2007 and 2010, he illegally obtained more than $600,000 from 14 retail investors to fund the property developments by providing financial advice when he was unauthorised to do so.

The funds raised were not used to develop the properties, but instead were used to pay interest payments to past and existing investors and to meet repayments on loans, as well as for his own personal use, such as for purchasing artwork and jewellery.

In sentencing, Judge Gavan Meredith noted Patrick had shown little remorse for leaving his victims’ lives in ruin and the offending was protected, calculated and at times brazen.

ASIC commissioner Peter Kell welcomed the sentencing.

“The conduct of Patrick exposed vulnerable members of the community to severe financial loss and hardship,” Kell said.

“ASIC will not hesitate to prosecute this type of deceptive and harmful conduct.”
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

Patrick was charged in July 2014 and pleaded guilty in July 2016.

He had previously been convicted of operating a financial services business without a licence, as well as failing to keep proper bookings and records as a director of companies that went into liquidation.

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