Former SMSF property spruiker found guilty of fraud
A former Queensland property developer has been found guilty of six counts of fraud including funds from SMSFs.
Following a five-day trial at the Brisbane District Court, Mr Craig Kirrin Gore was found guilty of six counts of fraud involving amounts totaling $345,000, ASIC stated in a public announcement.
Mr Gore was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 26 November 2020.
ASIC stated that the trial proceeded on 12 counts of fraud; however, Mr Gore was found not guilty on five counts, with a further sixth count being dismissed because the court could not be satisfied the offending took place within the Queensland jurisdiction.
“Mr Gore was initially arrested on 14 April 2017 after being charged with fraud relating to the obtaining of funds from SMSF investors during 2013 and 2014. The funds obtained totaled approximately $800,000,” the corporate regulator said.
ASIC’s case focused on Mr Gore obtaining funds from SMSF investors through his role at Arion Financial Pty Ltd (Arion).
“Investors were presented with information that they could invest in debentures, with various promises that included a guaranteed return, high returns, and that the funds could be returned after a short-term period of investment,” ASIC said.
The court found that in relation to four SMSF clients, Mr Gore was aware of the poor financial state of Arion at the time representations were made to them, and that there was no real prospect of Arion repaying the invested amounts or the interest.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation and referral of a prosecution brief by ASIC.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.