Linda Marissen has appeared at the Perth Magistrates Court charged with 34 counts of enabling or aiding the commission of alleged fraud offences by Chris Marco contrary to sections 7(b) and 409 of the Criminal Code (WA).
Back in July last year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) confirmed that Western Australian-based Mr Marco had been charged with 50 counts of fraud.
It was alleged that between July 2013 and October 2018, Mr Marco defrauded $36.5 million from nine investors, one of which was defrauded $10 million.
The corporate regulator has now revealed that following an investigation, it is alleged that between February 2014 and October 2018, Ms Marissen enabled or aided Mr Marco to defraud more than $29.5 million from six investors as his executive assistant.
Ms Marissen was released on bail and is next required to appear on 5 July 2023 in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court.
The corporate regulator originally took civil action against Mr Marco in 2020 to wind up the scheme.
In December 2021, the Federal Court found that Mr Marco had operated an unregistered managed investment scheme and appointed Rob Brauer and Rob Kirman of McGrathNicol as liquidators for related company AMS Holdings.
The court restrained Mr Marco from carrying on a financial services business or a managed investment scheme and ordered Mr Marco and other defendants to pay ASIC’s costs in the case.
In June 2021, Justice McKerracher found it was necessary to permanently wind up the scheme because of the “persistence and seriousness of the contraventions at issue; evident shortfall in investor funds; absence of any reasonably foreseeable prospect of a significant return to investors; evidence of related party and personal expenditure from investor funds; and deficiencies in record keeping as to investor entitlements”.
“Mr Marco’s unlawful conduct and attitude to financial affairs have apparently caused financial loss and no doubt related hardship to investors on a scale rarely seen,” Justice McKerracher said.
According to ASIC, the maximum penalty for each offence of fraud under the Criminal Code WA is seven years imprisonment or 10 years if the person deceived is of or over 60 years.
Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.