|As reported by the Australian Associated Press: ``A Former director whose failed carpet business owes creditors $32 million has been jailed for six years for gambling away some of the money and spending other amounts on himself and his wife. |
``As well as a net loss of almost $750,000 at casinos, Michael Frank Simich milked almost $550,000 from his company for designer clothes and jewellery, a new Mercedes Benz and sponsorship of the Melbourne Knights soccer club.
``Casinos in two states calculated the failed 37-year-old Perth businessman had actually `turned over' as much as $8.2 million in a four-year period.
``...The court was told Simich was a former director of Allied Carpet Industries, which promised high returns over short periods on investments in non-existent carpet jobs.
``An investigation by corporate watchdog Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found the business was an elaborate 'Ponzi' investment scheme, which used new investors' funds to repay earlier investors.
``...The carpet company was placed in liquidation in December 2000 - owing 247 creditors $32 million - after an investor complained about delays in repayments.
``...Simich was charged in July last year with 59 counts of fraud and stealing involving $3.1 million, which included the gambling losses, his personal expenditure and the NAB overdrafts...'