A mortgage broker in Western Australia has been found guilty of bilking as much as $1.2 million from seven borrowers and using the cash to pay his credit card bills and other debts.
According to news paper reports, Max Booty was charged with eight counts of stealing and an additional eight counts of fraud and stood trial for a Ponzi scheme which he ran between August 2007 to March 2009. The jury took three hours to deliberate and found him guilty of all charges.
Mr. Booty acted as a mortgage broker and ran a property investment business in the city of Rockingham. The scheme he ran involved borrowing money for clients which was secured against their property and then “investing” the proceeds, which was actually used to pay off older clients under the ponzi scheme.
Mr. Booty attracted investors by promising 20 per cent or more in investment returns. Some investors even received regular payments until finally Mr. Booty was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2009.
The investors who were duped have not received any of their principal and sank anywhere between $70,000 to as much as $330,000 into the investment scheme.