The director of a Victorian-based loan and mortgage broking business has been sentenced to four years imprisonment after she was found guilty of obtaining property by deception.
Hazel Bucello, director of Victorian Finance broking Services, will spend a minimum of two and half years behind bars after pleading guilty last year to a range of charges.
Ms Bucello was charged and subsequently found guilty of five counts of obtaining property worth $2,384,339 by deception, and one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception worth $141,800.
An investigation by ASIC revealed that between 2004 and 2006, five individuals invested over $2.5 million with Ms Bucello on the understanding their funds would be used to provide bridging finance to other VFBS clients.
The investors were promised between 4 and 5 per cent interest per month on their invested capital.
ASIC’s investigation found that investors were in fact being repaid their own money, as is typical of a ponzi scheme, and that the scheme was reliant on new funds being invested to meet the promised interest payments. Those who invested at the very beginning fared much better than the last investor, who received no interest payments.
While some of the investors received interest payments, the capital invested was not repaid. Ms Bucello used the remaining money to meet the financial obligations of VFBS and for her own purposes.
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