Friday 31 August 2007 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Former investme…

Friday 31 August 2007 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Former investment adviser and principal of Golconda Resources, Mr Mark Alan Taylor, was sentenced today in the South Australian District Court to 18 months imprisonment on 63 charges relating to the promotion of investments in the failed Queensland investment scheme known as the Wattle Group.

The 63 charges relate to a total loss of $1.2 million of investors funds and follow an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into Mr Taylor’s conduct. The total amount of money invested in the Wattle scheme through Golconda was approximately $7.9 million. On 21 February 2002, a bench warrant was issued by the District Court for Mr Taylor’s arrest after he failed to appear in Court as required by the conditions of his bail. On 10 January 2007, Mr Taylor was arrested in Malaysia.

After taking into account the time spent in custody since 10 January 2007, the Court ordered that Mr Taylor be released upon entering into a good behaviour bond for three years. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter. Background The Wattle Group was an unlicensed investment scheme which raised more than $160 million from over 2,700 investors across Australia. In 1998, ASIC took action to wind up the scheme.

Mr Geoffrey Robert Dexter operated the scheme by obtaining unsecured loan funds from investors on the promise of high rates of return, generally 50 per cent per annum. On 7 May 2001, Mr Dexter was convicted of multiple fraud charges and jailed for 10 years. Mr Ian William Snook, formerly an investment adviser and also principal of Golconda Resources, was sentenced on 2 October 2003 to two years imprisonment but was immediately released on entering into a two year good behaviour bond in the sum of $1000.

For further information contact: Jan Redfern Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 02 9911 2191 Mobile: 0411 119 210 Emma Forehan ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3354 Mobile: 0409 702 310

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