Ponzi scheme operators pay the price for greed

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Brian Wood, of Davistown, Jimmy Truong of St John’s Park, and Con Koutsoukos of Wiley Park, all pleaded guilty to various offences related to operating the scheme called the Integrity Plus Fund, including making false statements to investors.

Between December 2004 and December 2007 the Integrity Plus scheme raised more than $30 million from about 270 investors. ASIC obtained injunctions from the Supreme Court of NSW against Wood in December 2007, and Truong and Koutsoukos and others in February 2008, preventing the operation of Integrity Plus and securing funds for investors.

Appearing in the Sydney District Court on Monday, Mr Wood was sentenced to 3 years 11 months imprisonment, to serve a minimum term of 2 years 6 months. Mr Truong and Mr Koutsoukos were both sentenced to 2 years 8 months imprisonment, to serve minimum terms of 2 years.

‘The motive for the actions of each offender is clearly greed … the offences occurred over an extended period. Significant planning was involved to present the business as a legitimate and profitable one and to entice investors into the scheme via seminars,’ Judge Syme said.

Prior to their jailing all three men entered into separate enforceable undertakings with ASIC not to provide financial services and to manage companies, for a combined total of 45 years.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘This outcome sends a very clear message that those who misuse funds entrusted to them by others face serious consequences.’