Roger Munro, an “investment guru” has pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and faces up to 36 years in prison for embezzle up to $ 1.5 million in investor funds.
ASIC filed five fraud charges against Munro, but two charges were later dropped due to the unavailability of witnesses, ASIC said.
Munro received funds from investors for a trading fund, but instead of investing the money, he used it for himself, ASIC said.
According to the charges, Munro told investors that the money was invested in a fund called TradeStation Futures Fund (TradeStation) and that he would falsely report the profits and losses, while using the money for his personal use.
Munro had raised more than $ 1.5 million from investors, friends and family for business purposes, but did not keep or produce any books or records for ASIC.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 12 years, so Munro could face up to 36 years in prison when sentenced next week.
Chronology of events
ASIC alleged that since August 2011, Munro had been operating an unlicensed financial services business in Australia.
ASIC also determines that Munro told his investors that they made profits from trading when in fact he lost money.
In addition, ASIC discovered that a significant portion of investors’ money had been transferred to a brokerage account, which was then transferred to a bank account.
This is not the first time that Munro has come under the microscope for his investment practices who once owned his own trading platform in North Queensland.
Munro had maintained that the $ 60 million was accessible through a blind trust in North America. Former investors have claimed Munro told them that silver can be viewed with his retinal scan like something out of a James Bond movie.
As ASIC tried to press charges against Munro for the scheme, his attorneys declined to comment. However, Munro had previously said he would vigorously defend any action brought against him.
Some investors have alleged that the missing money was actually much closer to $ 95 million, including the alleged gains from the investment.
ASIC said it was unable to find the original venture capital money, but the Commonwealth Director of Prosecutions said there was no reasonable prospect of conviction, so ‘no charges were ever laid.