Former high profile motivational speaker and sales expert convicted on ASIC charges

A former motivational speaker and sales expert who took more than $1.7 million from unsuspecting investors through a bogus high-yield investment scheme has been convicted on 11 charges instigated by the corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Christopher Phillip Koch of Point Cook in Victoria was convicted yesterday by the Melbourne County Court on 15 charges of obtaining property by deception and seven charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Over a three-year period between 1996 and 1999, Koch lured in victims by promoting a “fictitious, international, high-yield investment program”.

While many investors would have considered Koch’s promises that he could generate returns of 50% to 150% in as little as 90 days to be too good to be true, 11 victims handed over a total of $1.74 million to the conman.

ASIC says most of the funds were used by Koch for personal spending.

Koch has been remanded in custody for sentencing at a date to be fixed.

Koch left Australia in July 2001, just a month after ASIC executed a search warrant on his home in Queensland.

After travelling through Asia, Britain and North and South America, Koch returned to New Zealand in 2004, where he had worked during the 1980s.

A former pharmaceuticals rep and insurance salesman, Koch set up a sales training business in New Zealand called the New Zealand Sales Institute, and charged individuals and corporate members for the chance to receive sales training and support through various events.

This business collapsed when Koch was arrested and extradited to Australia in early 2007.

An article on Koch’s life in New Zealand published in the New Zealand Herald three years ago describes Koch as having the “gift of the gab”.

“He claimed to be an international speaker who had shared the stage with General Norman Schwarzkopf and that he was actively involved in motivating the Sri Lankan cricket team before their win in the 1996 World Cup.”

Koch could face up to 10 year in jail over the charges.

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