A woman has defrauded Perth residents of more than $4 million by selling shares in a bogus land development she called `Mormonville', police say.
West Australian Police fraud officers, who have charged the 50-year-old registered finance broker on 24 fraud-related counts, say many of the woman's victims were pensioners.
They said the woman, from Canning Vale in Perth's south, set up "illusory schemes" in 2007 to fund her personal investments and affairs.
"She tricked people to invest by offering exceptionally high rates of returns with little or no risk to invested money," a police spokeswoman said on Friday.
The initial schemes allegedly involved selling investments in part-shares of land but later evolved into a scheme advertised as Mormonville, which claimed to be a village-type development for members of the woman's church.
The woman, who worked as a principal broker and co-director of a now closed Perth-based brokerage firm, defrauded individuals of between $40,000 and $400,000 each for a total of $4,212,388, police said.
Those targeted ranged between 43 and 73 years of age, with many relying on the pension as their sole sources of income.
Police said that between early 2007 and mid-2008, the woman netted about $6 million and used small amounts of the money to meet the monthly dividends to investors to give the appearance of a legitimate operation.
"This provided an illusion of real investment, while the alleged offender spent the majority of the funds on her personal affairs," the police spokeswoman said.
She said the 50-year-old's scheme came undone during the economic downturn when she was unable to source further investors and her schemes collapsed.
The woman has been granted bail and will appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on August 19 2010.
6 Aug 2010
There are countless examples of this kind of law, where a corporation/company defrauds the public there is NO jail time.
If an individual that is NOT supported by the system, defrauds the government (e.g. Tax Office, Social Welfare Agencies) they DO receive jail time.
This is a CLEAR example and message how the law SUPPORTS criminal activity.