A solicitor and four former company officers are facing charges for alleged criminal offences relating to the collapse of the Members Alliance and Benchmark group of companies.
Earlier on Friday, 10 September, five men – Richard Marlborough, Colin MacVicar, David Domingo, Liam Young and John Ramsden – appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with a combined 72 criminal offences pertaining to the collapse of the group of companies in 2016 and 2017.
According to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Members Alliance and Benchmark groups “allegedly operated property investment vehicles on the Gold Coast, offering financial advice to retail investors” and, in July 2016, 18 groups of companies were placed into liquidation “with a $26 million debt owing to the ATO”.
Mr Ramsden, a solicitor who acted for the Members Alliance group, ASIC said, was charged with aiding Mr Marlborough, Mr MacVicar , and Mr Young in their alleged directors’ duties offences, ASIC said, and faces eight counts of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence in contravention of the Corporations Act.
Mr Marlborough was charged with 21 counts of trading while insolvent, 10 counts of dishonestly using his position as a director, one count of disposing of property after becoming (or was about to be) a bankrupt, and one count of fraud.
Mr MacVicar was charged with 13 counts of trading while insolvent, one count of dishonestly using his position as a director, and one count of disposing of property after becoming (or was about to be) a bankrupt.
Mr Young was charged with four counts of trading while insolvent and five counts of dishonestly using his position as a director.
Mr Domingo has been charged with seven counts of trading while insolvent.
Mr Marlborough, Mr MacVicar, and Mr Domingo were at various times directors of companies in the Members Alliance group, the watchdog said in a statement, while Mr Young was a director of five Benchmark companies set up following the collapse of the Members Alliance group in mid-2016.
The charges laid, ASIC noted, follow a Serious Financial Crime Taskforce investigation, which was led by the corporate watchdog, into the collapse of the groups and alleged associated phoenix activity.
The matter was listed for a mention hearing on 26 November 2021 and is being prosecuted, ASIC concluded, by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after a brief and referral from the corporate watchdog.
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