Victorian couple charged with $1.5 million ‘ponzi scheme’; SkyFii Group completes backdoor listing: Midday Roundup

Victorian couple charged with $1.5 million ‘ponzi scheme’; SkyFii Group completes backdoor listing: Midday Roundup

A Victorian couple have been charged over an alleged $1.5 million ‘ponzi scheme’.

An investigation by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission ended with Maureen Gael Johnston and Douglas Gordon Johnston, both of Carrum Downs, being charged with a total of more than 70 offences. The charges include fraud, obtaining a financial advantage or property by deception, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

ASIC alleges the Johnstons misled people into investing approximately $1.5 million into various property developments in the United States and Australia, through two companies, Investman Nominees (USA) and Small Business Management.

ASIC alleges the money raised was not used to develop any properties, but instead used by the Johnstons for their own benefit.

The matter will be heard at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on January 28, 2015. Some of the offences carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years jail.

SkyFii Group makes backdoor listing

WiFi provider SkyFii Group is the latest in a string of companies to undertake a backdoor listing on to the Australian Securities Exchange.

SkyFii has completed a reverse takeover of RKS Consolidated, a former investment company that had been in a trading suspension since July 2008, according to Fairfax.

The company, which helps shopping centres and other retailers gain customer data through free WiFi, raised $3.5 million in two weeks at 20 cents a share.

“My vision for SkyFii is for it to become the largest provider of retail analytics and data services in the country,” founder and chief executive Wayne Anderson told Fairfax.

SkyFii’s clients currently include GPT Group, Brookfield, Ipoh (owner of Sydney’s QVB, Strand Arcade and Chifley Plaza), but the company is believed to be looking at also working with major shopping mall operators Westfield, Scentre Group and AMP Capital Shopping Centres.

In a statement to the ASX, SkyFii said proceeds of the offer will be used to “accelerate the company’s growth plans”.

Shares weak on open

Aussie shares were weak on open this morning, following mixed news for investors.

“Conflicting currents may drive a day of turbulence in Australian shares, as investors attempt to reconcile positive overseas stock performance with significantly weaker commodity prices,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist of CMC Markets.

“Futures markets are pointing to gains at the open, but given a likely reversal of yesterday’s strength in mining and energy stocks, there is potential for a weaker close.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 9.8 points to 5514.2 points at 12:01PM AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.23%, falling 39.81 points to 17,613.7 points.

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