More arrests likely over Qld property scam

More arrests likely over Qld property scam


Richard Marlborough has been charged over a scam to swindle millions from property investors.

Richard Marlborough has been charged over a scam to swindle millions from property investors.

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Police investigating the collapse of a Gold Coast-based investment firm expect to make more arrests after charging a former director.

Richard Marlborough, 52, faced a Brisbane court on Tuesday charged with dishonestly inducing victims to pay funds into accounts he controlled.

Court documents show Marlborough is accused of using his position as a director of Image Building Group to "dishonestly induce" ANZ to pay the company $1,753,491.40.

He's been granted conditional bail with the terms of his release including the surrendering of his passport.

Marlborough has also been banned from contacting any former staff of Members Alliance Group, a company he ran which collapsed in July 2016 owing creditors including the Australian Taxation Office and Gold Coast City Council approximately $30 million.

Police allege the collapse of Members Alliance exposed a scam whereby property investors were fleeced of more than $2.2 million after being encouraged to purchase house and land packages via a cold-calling scam.

Loans taken out by the company on the behalf of investors were used to pay for the building of earlier properties the company had sold, police say, in a Ponzi-style scam.

In some cases investors were sent building progress photographs showing homes that weren't those they had bought, police say.

Police have received complaints from about 40 victims in Queensland and NSW but are confident there are more yet to come forward.

Most investors lost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"No legitimate company would cold call you and ask you to invest," Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters, adding it was "more than likely" there would be further arrests.

"If you get cold-called, just hang up."

Marlborough is due back in court on March 26.

Australian Associated Press

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