Accountant who placed 1000 investors into investment property schemes pleads guilty: ASIC

South Yarra accountant, Mark Ronald Letten, 60, today pleaded guilty to 27 criminal charges of operating 21 unregistered managed investment schemes.

Letten, the former director of LGH Holdings Ltd, which is in liquidation, and principal of accounting firm Lettens Pty Ltd – formerly The Letten Group – has admitted to dishonestly using his director position using investor funds totalling up to $550,000, and of operating a financial services business without an Australian financial services licence.

The guilty plea came following an ASIC investigation.

Between 1998 and 2010, more than $100 million was placed in commercial investment property schemes in Australia and New Zealand by more than 1,000 investors. Letten managed and promoted the projects through a number of companies, including the aforementioned.

These companies and unregistered schemes were then wound up after a number of ASIC applications in the Federal Court of Victoria, from 2010 onwards.

He was charged in December 2011, to face trial following a committal hearing in December 2012.

Schemes managed by Letten included the Healesville Walk Shopping Centre Joint Venture in Victoria, Reef House Resort in Palm Cove, Queensland and the Yarra Valley Golf Joint Venture in Chirnside Park.

Property Observer previously reported about Letten’s appearance in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

In March, it was noted that those who had placed money in these schemes were potentially able to receive an interim payment. There is further information available for investors and creditors on a dedicated site here.

This article first appeared on Property Observer.

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