Mark Ronald Letten, accountant and director of LGH Holdings Ltd (in liquidation), has been committed to stand trial on more than 30 criminal charges following a ten day contested committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
The committal hearing, which ended today, related to 37 criminal charges laid in December 2011 following an ASIC investigation (refer: 11-298AD).
Mr Letten, of South Yarra, Victoria, has been committed on the following charges:
21 counts of operating unregistered managed investment schemes
1 count of carrying on a financial services business without a Australian financial services (AFS) licence
15 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception involving a total amount of approximately $1.4 million.
Mr Letten faces a maximum of five years imprisonment on each on the unregistered scheme charges and a maximum two years imprisonment regarding the carrying on a financial services business charge. The obtaining financial advantage by deception charges carry a maximum term of ten years imprisonment.
Mr Letten was granted conditional bail to appear at the Victoria County Court on 20 March 2013 for a directions hearing.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions.
The charges relate to the purchase and/or development of real property located throughout Australia and in New Zealand.
During 2010, following a number of applications by ASIC, orders were made in the Federal Court of Victoria winding up 15 operating unregistered managed investment schemes. Mr Damian Templeton and Mr Philip Hennessy were appointed receivers and managers of the scheme property and 52 related entities.
Mr Templeton and Mr Hennessy were also appointed receivers and managers of the scheme property of a further six concluded schemes.
Following ASIC applications during 2011 the scheme-related companies have subsequently been placed in liquidation with Mr Templeton and Mr Hennessy appointed liquidators.
The liquidators have estimated that in excess of $100 million was collected from approximately 1000 investors between the period 1998 and 2010.