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Jailed scammer tried to live as a recluse in Gympie

Lismore's Ronald David Williams entering Brisbane District Court to be sentenced over a dishonest investment scheme. Photo Rae Wilson / Newsdesk
Lismore's Ronald David Williams entering Brisbane District Court to be sentenced over a dishonest investment scheme. Photo Rae Wilson / Newsdesk Rae Wilson

A ONCE successful aviation businessman, jailed on Friday over a failed multi-million dollar investment scheme, had been living a "reclusive lifestyle" in Gympie to escape the shame of his actions.

Gary David Maile, 64, was sentenced to four years and three months jail after pleading guilty in Brisbane District Court to failure and dereliction of his duty as a company director.

He and co-accused Ronald David Williams, 46, will be released on parole after 16 months.

Maile, the Gympie Field Archers president, and Williams were jailed over a dishonest investment scheme they ran through their finance company, Selection One, on the Gold Coast.

When they went into voluntary administration, the men had debts of almost $21 million owed to 88 investors.

Commonwealth prosecutor David Henschell said there were 133 investors with $12.15 million owed to them at an earlier point.

He said the two men had promised investor money would be leant to third parties at 6% interest rate a month, which equated to about 72% a year, and in turn they promised investors about 3% a month in returns, about 36% a year.

"Essentially the profits generated were not going to cover the company's interest liabilities to current investors," he said.

"They were intentionally being dishonest".

Mr Henschell said the men took directors loans totalling more than $9 million - with $3.4 million repaid and $5.19 outstanding.

Defence barrister Tony Kimmins said his client would fly state ministers and high-profile businessmen around until he sold up and went to the Gold Coast to retire.

He said he invested a substantial amount of money into the business venture with Williams, as did his family and children.

"Everything was lost. He was made bankrupt," he said. "Because of the shame he felt in relation to the involvement in this matter, he moved away so he didn't have to face people.

"He has effectively lived, for the most part, a reclusive lifestyle in the Gympie area, except for the archery club.

"He and his wife reside in a shed on a bush block that is some distance out of Gympie. They live a simplistic existence and grow their own food."

Judge Richard Jones was quick to point out Maile was "not the only one who's lost his home".

"White collar offences such as these, involving ... high risks of loss to the public and are often largely difficult to detect, there is a strong basis for a sentence sending an appropriate message of general deterrence, to deter others from committing such offences," he said.

"There is no evidence as to where this money ended up. Also there is no evidence to suggest this money went into financing lavish lifestyles.

"One must never lose sight of the fact that the defendants' offending has had a devastating impact on those who invested in the company."

Topics:  investment jail scam trial

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