Ex-property developer loses fraud appeal

SMSF investors fraud

An ex-property developer who defrauded SMSF investors has lost an appeal against his conviction.

A former Queensland property developer who was found guilty of fraud involving SMSF investors has been unsuccessful in an appeal against his conviction.

The Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Craig Kirrin Gore against his conviction on six counts of fraud after he was sentenced to five years’ prison with a non-parole period of two years in November 2020.

After his sentencing, Gore lodged an appeal, heard in February 2021, in which the Court of Appeal found it was open to the trial judge to convict him on the six counts of fraud.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which released a statement on the appeal dismissal, said the Court of Appeal also found the “evidence demonstrated Gore had continued to secure funds from the investors after December 2013 without disclosing there was no real prospect of them being repaid”.

Gore was initially arrested in 2017 after being charged with 12 counts of fraud relating to obtaining funds from SMSF investors during 2013 and 2014.

Through his role at Arion Financial, he claimed investors could invest in debentures and gave various promises that included guaranteed returns, high returns and funds could be returned after a short-term period of investment.

He was found guilty of six counts of fraud involving amounts obtained from SMSF investors totalling $345,000 in October 2020, at which time the Queensland District Court found he was aware of the poor financial state of Arion when representations were made and there was no prospect of the firm repaying the invested amounts or the interest.

Gore has been serving his sentence since he was remanded in custody in October 2020, but is still facing three other unrelated charges connected to the management of Arion, MOGS Pty Ltd and Sleipner Financial Pty Ltd while he was disqualified from doing so.

These charges will return to the Queensland Magistrates Court for mention on 20 August following delivery of the appeal judgment.

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