Former Coast rich lister’s bid to get out of jail
DISGRACED ex-rich lister Craig Gore will today face Queensland's highest court to argue his investment fraud conviction should be overturned.
Gore was in 2020 found guilty of using self-managed money from super fund investors to pay company debts and rent on his Queensland home.
He faced a judge-alone trial in the Brisbane District Court over 12 counts of fraud, totalling about $350,000, which is alleged to have occurred between 2013-14 at Southport.
The son of Sanctuary Cove developer Mike Gore was found guilty of six counts of fraud for the benefit of the companies Arion Financial and Arion Group through the high-interest debentures scheme. He was sentenced to five years' jail.
Judge Michael Byrne ordered him to serve two years behind bars before his sentence will be suspended.
But last year, lawyers for Gore lodged a bid to the Queensland Court of Appeal to have his conviction overturned and the twice-bankrupt Gold Coast businessman released from jail, arguing the verdict against him could not be supported by the evidence.
They are expected to argue the trial judge wrongly determined Arion was indebted to the Australian Taxation Office between $200-300,000 during the period of the offending.
They claim the trial judge also wrongly determined the tax debt would put the company in a precarious financial position, which Gore was aware of.
Defence lawyers will argue the conclusion the company failed to make any repayments on the debt was because of lack of funds.
Mr Gore claims the judge was wrong in concluding the "tax debt induced sufficient financial pressure that the appellant then knew investments made thereafter could not be repaid".
"Absent of his honour's mistaken view of the companies' indebtedness to the ATO, and his erroneous conclusions about the significance of that indebtedness, there was no basis for a finding of guilt on the charge," court documents claim.
But the crown is expected to argue the failure to make repayments on the debt and the "consistently low combined balances of the companies' bank accounts fortified the learned trial judge's view about the appellant's state of mind at the latest some days or weeks prior to December 2013".
The crown claims the tax debt was not contentious.
The trial heard investors allegedly received contact from a man named "Craig" who encouraged them to invest money in a "debenture scheme" that would return 8.25 per cent on their investment.
The court heard the money was never returned to investors, but withdrawn from the bank account it was paid into within two weeks of its deposit.
Originally published as Former Coast rich lister's bid to get out of jail