Melbourne man guilty of $1 million fraud

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A Melbourne man is on track for heavy prosecution after pleading guilty yesterday to more than 22 offences, including stealing more than $1 million of investors’ money.

At the time of the offences, Carlo Cini was the sole director of Williamstown-based company, C Cini & Company Pty Ltd, which is now in liquidation.

 An ASIC investigation revealed that between 2007 and 2008, Cini raised more than $1 million from seven investors based on representations that the funds would be used for property development being undertaken by the company.

The funds were subsequently used for other purposes, including other company-related expenses and personal payments.

It was also alleged that he obtained a financial advantage for the company by evading debts due to the investors in relation to the issuing of cheques that were valueless but had a face value of more than $700,000.

A further charge related to an investor agreeing to lend funds to the company on the basis of reckless statements made by the Cini.

In total, Cini pleaded guilty to:

• 10 counts of obtaining property by deception
• one count of fraudulently inducing a person to invest money, and
• 11 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

The former Westpac branch manager, property developer and broker, was given a reprieve from a number of other charges he faced as a result of his early guilty plea.

The Herald Sun reported that liquidator Paul Burness, who had the job of investigating the state of affairs of Cini’s company, told the court the creditors were “really angry and upset”.

Although he found that $1.1 million of the stolen money was used for personal expenses, he believed that amount would be much higher if he was able to properly reconcile the company’s financial statements.

“The behaviour of the director is atrocious,” Burness said.

Cini has been conditionally bailed to appear before the County Court of Victoria for a plea hearing on 31 July 2014.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.


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