‘Millions’ swindled from property investors
THE three Gold Coast-based directors of Members Alliance â€" Richard Marlborough, David Domingo and Colin Macvicar are accused of dishonestly causing a financial detriment to persons investing in properties.
Police allege the group swindled millions from at least 40 people. They operated an investment scheme which allegedly involved cold calling people across Australia and selling them home and land packages as investments.
Investigators claim the Members Alliance Group began as a legitimate company that focused primarily on wealth creation and debt restructuring for members of the Construction Forestry Mining and Electrical Union.
However, the business allegedly grew to a point where the construction of the homes was too difficult to complete financially so the group bought a number of building companies.
Police allege that eventually those companies faced cash flow issues, a factor that triggered the pre-claiming on construction loans.
Police claim a practise was to claim money from investors up to a certain building phase.
Investors were sent photos of homes in hard-to-visit rural Queensland and NSW areas to get more payments, but many buildings were not completed.
Based at The Rocket tower in Robina, the group collapsed in 2016 owing almost $30 million to the Australian Taxation Office, $741,000 in unpaid rent to the Gold Coast City Council, $7 million in superannuation to about 90 employees and $800,000 in entitlements to staff of a labour hire firm.
Charges were laid following an 11-month investigation by the Queensland Police Financial and Cyber Crime Group, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.