Former Williamstown property developer and mortgage broker Carlo Cini, 56, of Altona North, Melbourne has been arrested and charged with a total of 58 offences following an ASIC investigation.
The charges relate to Cini’s role as a director of the Williamstown-based company C Cini & Company Pty Ltd, now in liquidation.
ASIC alleges that Cini raised investment funds in excess of $1 million from a number of investors for business-related purposes of C Cini & Company, namely property development, and then used those funds for other purposes.
The funds were raised between 2007 and 2008.
“It is further alleged that Mr Cini obtained a financial advantage for the company through the issue of valueless cheques to investors and dishonestly used his position as director through the misuse of investor funds,” said ASIC.
Cini is charged with the following offences:
- 10 counts of obtaining property by deception
- 6 counts of fraudulently inducing persons to invest money
- 17 counts of obtaining a obtaining financial advantage by deception, and
- 25 counts of a director dishonestly using his position.
Liquidator 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 Hobsons Bay Leader newspaper.
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.
He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday. His bail was extended and he is to reappear for a mention on September 6, 2013.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
This article first appeared on Property Observer.