$4m fraud: ‘Dishonesty of a high order'

A FORMER Gold Coast company director was involved in a "cynical, sophisticated" $4.39 million fraudulent scheme that left 12 victims in debt or with lost savings, a court has heard.

Bradley Keith Silver, 30, pleaded guilty in March to seven fraud charges and six counts of dishonestly using his company director's position with intent to gain.

At his sentence today, Crown prosecutor Jeff Hunter said Silver's scheme involved a sophisticated marketing exercise and a protracted period of dishonesty.

Mr Hunter said it was designed to fool a bank and vulnerable investors, who did not see any of their money invested as they were promised.

People were induced to invest their own money or borrow from Westpac to invest.

Although investors were led to believe that their money was going into high performing investments, it was diverted to Silver and his family, Mr Hunter said.

Mr Hunter said a total of $4.398 million was obtained through the fraudulent scheme.

Silver bought $1.6 million worth of properties in his name or those of family members.

"This was a sophisticated scheme, the rewards were high, the dishonesty of a high order, sustained over a substantial period," Mr Hunter said.

"It involved taking advantage of some vulnerable individuals."

Mr Hunter said Silver had an arrangement with a Westpac employee who had considerable authority to make loan decisions.

Investors who took out loans were provided with documents to show the money had been invested and the investments were performing at a rate to service the loans.

But once two companies went into liquidation the victims, many of whom were pensioners, were left to settle the loans.

Mr Hunter said victims were subjected to significant stress, because of their inability to pay off the loans.

Other investors were induced to invest their own money into high performing securities.

Silver will be sentenced later this afternoon.

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