Two plead guilty on Ponzi fund

A LONG-RUNNING investigation of a Ponzi operation in which more than $30 million in superannuation money was invested has resulted in two people pleading guilty in court.

A LONG-RUNNING investigation of a Ponzi operation in which more than $30 million in superannuation money was invested has resulted in two people pleading guilty in court.

The pleas come nearly five years after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission obtained an injunction preventing the operation of the scheme, the Integrity Plus Fund, and securing investors' remaining funds.

In mid-2008, the New South Wales Supreme Court ordered the winding up of the illegal, unregistered managed investment schemes, Integrity Plus Fund, and another related scheme, Super Save Superannuation Fund. About $22 million was recovered.

The liquidator, Barry Taylor of HLB Mann Judd, said in an affidavit in other proceedings that the Integrity scheme operated between September 2004 and January 2008.

"During this period it accepted approximately $US29,399,627 from investors and paid total 'returns' of $US9,128,821. However, the Integrity scheme was a Ponzi scheme that is to say the 'returns' were not paid from profits on funds invested, but rather from capital contributed by other investors."

He said the Integrity scheme was administered by PJCB International, which was incorporated in the British West Indies.

Mr Taylor said some investors attended seminars by a company called Future Trading Corporation, which described itself as an "innovative supplier of financial education material".

Last week in the Downing Centre Local Court, Brian Wood, of Davistown, and Jimmy Truong, of St John's Park, pleaded guilty to charges of making false statements to investors. Wood also pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriating investors' funds.

ASIC said both men had falsely stated to investors that they would earn returns of 4 per cent a month and their capital was guaranteed. Wood and Truong were two of the "beneficial owners" of PJCB International.

ASIC said a third man, Con Koutsoukos, of Wiley Park, had not entered a plea to three charges of making false statements to investors.

The matter returns to the District Court later this month.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles