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14-298MR Victorian couple charged with $1.5 million fraud
Following an ASIC investigation, a Victorian couple have been charged with a $1.5 million fraud.
Maureen Gael Johnston, 58, and Douglas Gordon Johnston, 71, both of Carrum Downs, have been charged with a total of more than 70 offences, including fraud, obtaining a financial advantage or property by deception, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Some of the offences carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years jail.
It is alleged the Johnston’s affairs resembled a ponzi scheme.
ASIC investigated Investman Nominees (USA) Pty Ltd and Small Business Management Pty Ltd and allege Mr and Mrs Johnston misled people into investing approximately $1.5 million into various property developments in the United States and Australia.
ASIC alleges the money raised was not used to develop any properties, but instead used by Mr and Mrs Johnston for their own benefit.
Mrs Johnston is a former director of Investman Nominees Pty Ltd and current director of Small Business Management Pty Ltd. Mr Johnston is a former accountant and current shareholder of Small Business Management Pty Ltd.
The matter has been listed for a committal mention at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 28 January 2015.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mrs Johnston has been charged with 52 offences and Mr Johnston has been charged with 25 offences, all pursuant to the Crimes Act 1958 (Victoria) some of which carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years jail.
The committal mention scheduled for 28 January 2015 has been adjourned until 11 March 2015.
Editor's note 2:
On 11 March 2015, the matter against Mr Doug Johnson has been set down for a contested committal hearing commencing 11 August 2015 at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
The committal mention scheduled for Mrs Maureen Johnston was adjourned until 22 April 2015.
Editor's note 3:
On 22 April 2015, the matter against Maureen Johnston was set down for a four day contested committal hearing commencing 11 August 2015 at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
Editors Note 4:
The contested committal hearing for Maureen and Doug Johnston set down for 11 August 2015 was adjourned until 14 December 2015.
Editors Note 5:
On 16 December 2015, following a three day committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, Mr and Mrs Johnston were committed for trial in the Victorian County Court on numerous fraud and deception charges. The matter listed for a Directions Hearing on 18 January 2016 at 9am at the Victorian County Court (refer: 15-397MR).