Hobart-based Anthony Silver has been sentenced to eight years and six months imprisonment for fraud totalling $1.8 million, following an investigation by the corporate regulator.
In a statement on Monday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said Mr Silver, who was the shadow director of scheme companies Capital Growth International Club and All About Property Development, misappropriated $1.8 million of the $9 million collected from investors between 2008 and 2010, by transferring funds to his personal bank account, making payments to company employees and paying returns to other investors.
Mr Silver pleaded guilty to the allegations.
The corporate regulator found that many of the investors were pensioners and were approached to invest in the scheme companies by cold-call telemarketing or word of mouth.
Investors were promised that their funds would either be allocated towards the development of Tasmanian properties or pooled and invested in bank term deposits, with a guaranteed return of 15–20 per cent annually. Some investors were even persuaded to take out loans against their homes to participate in the scheme.
In delivering the sentence, Judge Vicki Loury KC remarked on the significant impact of Mr Silver’s fraud on the victims, and the financial and psychological cost to them.
The court set Mr Silver a non-parole period of two and a half years.
In 2019, Mr Silver’s son, Bradley Silver, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after pleading guilty to dishonesty offences relating to the scheme companies totalling over $4.7 million.
Moreover, in 2017, former Westpac home finance manager David St Pierre was sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty to dishonest use of his position concerning his role in submitting false loan applications to obtain over $2.5 million for Westpac customers to invest in the scheme companies.