Westpoint spruiker to stand trial

Madeleine Collins
— 1 minute read
Neil Burnard committed to stand trial on Westpoint charges.
The Sydney businessman who raked in millions for the Westpoint empire will stand trial next month.

Neil Burnard, who assured retiree investors he was running an investment bank, was yesterday committed to stand trial in the NSW District Court on 11 criminal charges.

Evidence was heard during a four-day hearing this week in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court.


The court heard that Burnard made verbal and written statements saying he was the director of Kebbel Investment Bank, which was the public face of Burnard's company Kebbel (NSW) and Westpoint's main sales channel.

ASIC said Burnard knew the statements were false or misleading and knew that Kebbel Investment Bank did not exist.

"Burnard made the statements in order to obtain a financial advantage for various Westpoint mezzanine finance companies, specifically a monetary investment in the companies," ASIC said in a statement.

ASIC alleges Burnard raised $140 million for the failed property lender and earned a further $18.1 million in commissions for Kebbel and other parties.

The businessman is the first executive linked to Westpoint to face criminal charges.

The group collapsed in late 2005 owing 4000 investors around $300 million.

Burnard has reserved his plea to the charges.

The matter will be heard on October 12.

Kebbel changed its name to Finchley Central Funds Management Limited and left in the hands of Western Australian businessman Simon Bell when Westpoint collapsed.

Severe delays have hampered its property developments and the company has come under fire from retail investors for missing interest repayments.


Westpoint spruiker to stand trial
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