Ponzi operator Simon Finnigan, who defrauded investors of $1.96 million while he lived the life of an apparent millionaire businessman, has been sentenced to 10 years jail in what the sentencing judge said was one of the toughest terms imposed for a Ponzi scheme offence.
Some of the investors sitting in the NSW District Court wept with relief as Judge Michael Finnane told Finnigan he was sentencing him to 10 years jail, with a six-year non parole period.
Judge Finnane said the requirement to protect the community sometimes called for a longer sentence.
‘‘I think this is called for in this case because I see not the slightest evidence (Finnigan) has any appreciation of all the damage and destruction he has caused.”
Finnigan sat impassive as the judge said the sentence ”may seem to be one of the toughest ever imposed”.
Finnigan was not licensed as a financial planner, nor did his many companies – most noteably Financial Partners Pty Ltd – have any financial licenses.
He promised Financial Partners Pty Ltd would invest in shares, derivatives, property and in one case – Biotech Solutions Pty Ltd – a revolutionary water product that when listed on the stock exchange would produce huge windfall gains. He gave personal guarantees, and promised up to 15 per cent return.
Instead the money went on paying his personal credit card expenses, for overseas travel, the running costs of his business, and on interest to earlier investors. He pleaded guilty to nine charges spanning 2001 to 2007.
BusinessDay has confirmed with other investors that the extent of losses is much larger than the $1.96 million Finnigan was charged with and pleaded guilty to.
Finnigan was taken into custody in court. Justice Finnane said he would recommend to custodial authorities that Finnigan be assessed for entry to a minimum security prison.
Sourced from: http://www.smh.com.au/business/conman-gets-long-jail-sentence-20111216-1oyf1.html#ixzz1gfqsdXsJ, Leonie Lamont, December 16, 2011