9 Dec 2010

SFO lays charges in alleged Ponzi scheme

9:24 pm on 9 December 2010

The Serious Fraud Office has laid charges against the co-directors of B'On Financial Services for allegedly defrauding 85 investors of more than $15 million in a Ponzi scheme.

Also known as a pyramid scheme, new investors' money is used instead of profits as payment to investors.

Michael John Bradley and Jacqueline Lyndsay Bradley face 87 charges of theft and misusing documents.

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley says the directors are accused of taking investors' money to repay earlier investors and fund their own lifestyles.

B'On Financial Services was put into voluntary liquidation in December last year. Other failed investment firms run by the Bradleys are also being liquidated.

Liquidator Bryan Mayo-Smith says 57 claims for $19.5 million have been received from investors to date, but it is unlikely that the money will be recovered.

"We've reported to them that, regrettably, we cannot see that there's likely to be any significant dividend to investors."

Mr Mayo-Smith says at least three investors are terminally ill.

The defendants will reappear in court on 13 January.