Australia: Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaFraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed

13:27  11 september  2019
13:27  11 september  2019 Source:

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We have noticed that there is an issue with your subscription billing details. A former black-cab driver who tricked more than 8,000 people into investing in a £34 million Ponzi fraud was jailed for ten years yesterday.

A fraudster who was jailed over a multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme targeting retirees as old as 98 was allegedly so distraught ahead of sentencing he went to hospital with a panic attack.

Bradley Silver ultimately pleaded guilty to 13 dishonesty charges, including seven counts of fraud, and was jailed for eight years, with a non-parole period of two and a half years.

Silver was the director of two so-called investment companies which persuaded older Australians to sign away a collective $9 million.

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In a Ponzi scheme , fraudsters use money they have collected from new investors to pay existing Other Ponzi schemes that have met scrutiny by the SEC this year have included two Texas Before investing, it makes prudent sense to check for the classic warning signs of a Ponzi scheme .

Single mum Debra Ruscoe invested her entire savings of $375,000.

Her hope was to invest her nest egg for one year before buying her own home.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Fraudster Bradley Silver has been jailed after pleading guilty to 13 dishonesty charges.

However, the company went bust just six months later.

"I have just never been able to recover," Ms Ruscoe told A Current Affair.

"And I feel very stupid, I've let my family down."

Susan Jones said she was roped into Silver's dodgy development scheme by Elizabeth Orchard, Silver's salesperson.

Ms Jones invested $90,000 in cash, and was then convinced to use another $450,000 equity in her home via a Westpac loan.

For the first six months the dividends flowed in - but then there was nothing.

"I was too scared to even log in to have a look and see, because there was nothing happening," Ms Jones said.

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A Ponzi - scheme fraudster who lived a life of luxury after conning £34m out of his 8,500 victims has been jailed for 10 years. He is thought to have amassed £34m from investments made by the people he conned by holding a series of roadshows at hotels and conference centres across the

Ponzi was able to pay back a few of these investors, again trying to reassure the rest. Many continued to withdraw their money until Monday After being found not guilty in two state trials, Ponzi was found guilty of additional charges in a February 1925 trial and sentenced to another seven to nine years.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Debra Ruscoe invested all her savings in the hope of buying a home.

"And I was kind of getting very anxious when I was searching for the deposits."

Mark Morley invested $300,000 into Silver's Capital Growth International Club and at first received substantial monthly dividend payments from what he was told was a successful sports betting scheme.

He said he had been receiving $5000 a month returns, before he was convinced to deposit a further $100,000 to buy a house and land package in Silver's Tasmanian property development at New Norfolk.

Mr Morley said the brochures for the project looked "very professional" - but his property was never built.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Susan Jones said the dividends stopped after six months.

"I was to find out it was a Ponzi scheme, and my money was coming from other investors," he said.

When the dividends dried up and Mr Morley was left with nothing, he spiralled into a deep depression that saw him hospitalised.

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"It knocks the wind out of your sails because it was a large sum of money that was going to be my retirement," he said.

"And so hence I thought my retirement was gone."

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Mark Morely said he invested $100,000 to buy a house and land package but the property was never built.

At a Brisbane nursing home, Silver's salesperson Elizabeth Orchard, and dodgy bank manager David St Pierre, signed up 98-year-old great-grandmother Heather Simmers to a 30-year loan of almost $500,000.

Business journalist Michael West told A Current Affair it was "one of the worst I've seen".

"I mean, assuming she didn't pay the thing off early, she'd be 128 by the time the mortgage had run its full course," he said.

St Pierre was sacked by Westpac, then sentenced to a minimum of six months jail after pleading guilty to three dishonesty charges for arranging $2.5 million in loans to invest in Silver's schemes.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair David St Pierre was sacked by Westpac and jailed.

Orchard spent eight months behind bars for dishonestly obtaining $100,000 from one investor.

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While they languished in jail cells, Silver was still free, operating a Hobart gentleman's club.

But he was the next target in ASIC's eight-year-investigation.

Senior manager of ASIC financial services enforcement Kaan Finney said investigators had to look through more than 150 accounts and ultimately 21,000 transactions to find out where the money went and how it was used.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Elizabeth Orchard was behind bars for eight months.

Of the $9 million that went missing, $4.7m could be tracked to Silver.

On the day he was set to be sentenced, Silver initially failed to appear.

A Current Affair discovered him at a Gold Coast hospital where, his lawyer told the court, he was having a panic attack.

With an arrest warrant potentially looming, Silver took an Uber for a one-hour drive to the Brisbane District Court.

Fraudster behind $9m Ponzi scheme has 'panic attack' before being jailed © A Current Affair Silver went to a hospital ahead of sentencing, his lawyer claiming he'd suffered a panic attack.

Outside court, Michelle and Wayne Mahon spoke on behalf of their dad Kevin Mahon, one of several Silver victims who died before seeing justice.

"It crushed him, absolutely crushed him, and the thought of selling his home was pretty devastating," Michelle said.

Westpac compensated some of the victims who were given a dodgy loan, but cash investors like Ms Ruscoe missed out.

She's hoping some of Silver's missing millions can still be found, and pleaded with him to "show some humanity" and "do the right thing".

ASIC's investigation is ongoing.

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