Thursday 18 October 2007 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Former Coffs Harbour mortgage broker, Mr Dominic Cincotta, has pleaded guilty today to seven fraud charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Mr Cincotta appeared in the District Court in Sydney on charges relating to dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage and fraudulently misappropriating funds totalling $5.8 million. A further three charges totalling $690,000 will be placed on a schedule and taken into account on sentencing. These charges relate to funds invested by nine of Mr Cincotta’s former clients located in Sydney and Coffs Harbour.
The conduct occurred between November 1998 and December 2004. ASIC alleges Mr Cincotta arranged investments for a number of his clients with Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited in accounts such as a Mortgage Offset Account, Bricks and Mortar Fund, Fixed Mortgage Investment Account or Investment Deposit Account, earning interest at rates between 6.75 per cent and 10.75 per cent per annum.
The funds were, in fact, deposited to accounts controlled by Mr Cincotta, including Perpetual Investment Management Limited Cash Management account in the name of his wife, and a St George Bank account in the name of his company, ACN 067 567 702 Pty Ltd. Mr Cincotta faces a maximum penalty of five years for each count of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage and seven years for fraudulent misappropriation. The current charges account for 15 of the original 23 charges brought by ASIC.
The remaining eight charges have been withdrawn. Mr Cincotta will appear in Sydney’s District Court for a continuation of sentence proceedings on 26 October 2007. The court strengthened Mr Cincotta’s bail conditions by placing him on reporting obligations. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter. For further information contact: Angela Friend ASIC Media Unit Telephone: (03) 9280 3338 Mobile: 0412 058 800