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September 16, 2016

Jail and ban for property development scammer

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Steven Hill from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.

An ASIC investigation found that between January 2006 and February 2007, Hill, through Hill Stephens & Associates Pty Ltd and International Finance Consortium (Aust) Pty Ltd, induced various investors to pay approximately $618,000 to acquire interests in a “house and land” property development located in Queensland.

Hill was found guilty of fraudulently misappropriating $281,000 of the invested funds, which were directed to company bank accounts to make payments to Hill and other third parties.

On April 18, 2016, Hill was sentenced to two years and nine months’ jail for fraudulent misappropriation.

Following the sentencing, ASIC determined that Hill should be permanently banned as he was convicted of offences involving dishonest and fraudulent conduct.

ASIC commissioner Peter Kell says Hill’s misconduct was very serious.

“ASIC will ban people from the finance industry who act dishonestly and place personal interests ahead of those they service. Mr Hill’s actions exposed vulnerable members of the community to financial loss and hardship.”

The original ASIC investigations revealed that between January 2006 and February 2007, Hill met with various investors based in New South Wales. Describing himself as a “financier/consultant”, through his company Hill told investors he would be able to provide them with investment opportunities to build their wealth towards retirement.

He advised investors their funds would be used as “seed capital” in a number of Queensland-based property developments he was facilitating.

Hill advised investors they would receive returns of between 10 and 30 per cent per annum, however, unbeknownst to the investors, the funds paid weren’t invested in the developments as originally advised.

In June 2013 Hill was charged with eight counts of fraudulent misappropriation and in March 2015 he was ordered to stand trial on seven counts of fraudulent misappropriation.

In March this year, Hill was convicted on six counts of fraudulent misappropriation by a Sydney District Court jury after a four-week trial.

He was found not guilty of one charge of fraudulently misappropriating $150,000.

Hill has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of ASIC’s decisions.

 

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