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Melbourne man guilty of deception over $1 million of funds raised from seven property investors

Melbourne man guilty of deception over $1 million of funds raised from seven property investors
Melbourne man guilty of deception over $1 million of funds raised from seven property investors

Fifty-six year old Carlo Cini of Melbourne’s Altona North pleaded guilty today in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, relating to his conduct as director of C Cini & Company Pty Ltd.

The Williamstown-based company is now in liquidation, however it raised $1 million from seven investors between 2007 and 2008 by representing to the individuals that the funds would be used for a property development. In fact, the funds were then used for other company-related expenses and Cini’s personal payments.

Cini has pleaded guilty to 22 offences following an ASIC investigation, including that he obtained a financial advantage for his company by evading debts due to investors. He had issued valueless cheques to the tune of more than $700,000.

The offences included 10 counts of obtaining property by deception, and 11 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Another charge included an investor agreeing to lend funds to Cini’s company, due to his reckless statements.

Alternative charges were withdrawn by prosecutors due to his decision to enter into the guilty plea. Back when he was charged in June 2013 he faced 58 alleged offences, included 25 counts of being dishonest in the position of director.

He was conditionally bailed, and will appear before the County Court of Victoria for his plea hearing in July.

Liquadator Paul Burness, of Worrells, said following his appointment in 2008 that there appeared to be “significant deficiency” between Cini’s assets ($780,000) and liabilities ($3.5 million) and called it possibly “a classic case of a Ponzi scheme” in comments given to the Hobson Bay Leader.

Burness said at the time there were 37 creditors owed $3.8 million. Many were local Williamstown residents.

Cini, a former Westpac branch manager, claimed there were only about 18 investors.

Wilckens Roche Lawyers in a December 2008 newsletter said that they had been approached by a "steady flow" of victims but that by then very little could be done.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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