Company director behind bars over dodgy house and land deals

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A former company director has been hit with jail time after being found guilty of six counts of fraud worth more than $200,000.  

Stephen William hill was yesterday handed a two year and nine month prison sentence with a non-parole period of one year and nine months after he was found guilty earlier this year of six charges of fraudulent misappropriation worth $218,000 in March.

Hill faced the charges after an Australian Securities & Investment Commission investigation into his companies Hill Stephens & Associates Pty Ltd and International Finance Consortium (Aust) Pty Ltd.

The ASIC investigation found that between January 2006 to February 2007 Hill used Hill Stephens & Associates Pty Ltd and International Finance Consortium (Aust) Pty Ltd to induce various investors to pay approximately $618,000 to acquire interests in a 'house and land' property development in Queensland.

ASIC’s investigation found that Hill reviewed the financial circumstances of investors, recommended they set up a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) for investment, referred investors to a solicitor to establish a SMSF, elicited establishment fees and instructed investors to deposit their funds to his company bank accounts.

Hill advised their funds would be used as “seed capital” in a number of Queensland based property developments and that they would receive returns of between 10 - 30% per annum.

Unknown to the investors, funds paid were not invested in the property developments as originally advised by Hill and were directed to company bank accounts to make payments to Hill and other third parties.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said the sentence showed regulators were serious about cracking down on behaviour like Hills.

'Mr Hill's actions betrayed the trust of his investors and caused them significant financial harm. Today's sentence showed such behaviour will not be tolerated,” he said.

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