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Trio's Richard jailed for 2? years over stolen super

A SMOOTH-TALKING Canadian patsy took the fall for Australia's largest superannuation theft yesterday, but the major beneficiary of the crime remains at large.

A SMOOTH-TALKING Canadian patsy took the fall for Australia's largest superannuation theft yesterday, but the major beneficiary of the crime remains at large.

Shawn Richard, known by his Facebook nickname Shawny Cash, was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court to a minimum of two-and-a-half years in jail yesterday.

The sentence immediately attracted the ire of investors in Trio Capital, which collapsed in late 2009. Trio investors lost $180 million sent to offshore hedge funds through Astarra Strategic and ARP Growth.

"We will be paying for many more years," Beth Roffe, a Wollongong investor who lost $500,000 and is living on the pension, said outside the court yesterday.

John Hempton, a fund manager who first exposed the fraud, said: "This has caused a very large number of people a very large amount of pain. If he had mugged three of those people and took their purses he would have probably got a longer sentence."

Richard, 36, looked haggard and unshaven as Justice Peter Garling found he was "motivated simply by greed" when he directed $26.6 million into offshore funds, knowing the money was being stolen.

But Justice Garling's sentencing remarks show that a US citizen based in Hong Kong called Jack Flader was the real mastermind and major beneficiary. Mr Flader remains at large.

Justice Garling sentenced Richard to a maximum sentence of three years and nine months.

He said he was prepared to accept Richard, described as "ripe for the picking" by his lawyer, had been naive and gullible when he started working for Mr Flader. But he said benefits Richard received included secret payments of $1.3 million to personal bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Curacao and payments to his company of $5.3 million.

"Mr Richard is guilty of serious crimes of a high order. They were carefully considered and planned, they were concealed, they continued over a period of nearly four years and they led to significant financial losses," Justice Garling said.

"Whilst he may not have been the ultimate controller, a role attributed to Mr Flader, he was the central figure in Australia, without whose participation these offences could not have occurred."


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