South Yarra accountant involved in property development schemes imprisoned for over five years

South Yarra accountant involved in property development schemes imprisoned for over five years
South Yarra accountant involved in property development schemes imprisoned for over five years

Mark Ronald Letten, a South Yarra accountant, was sentenced in the Melbourne Country Court today to five years and eight months imprisonment.

The charges were brought against Letten, 60, by ASIC after he had earlier pleaded guilty to 27 charges under the Corporations Act 2001.

His charges included operating 21 unregistered managed investment schemes related to property development as former director of LGH Holdings Ltd and principal of Lettens Pty Ltd (The Letten Group formerly).

LGH is now in liquidation.

He also admitted to dishonestly using his directorship to use investor funds totalling more than $533,000 and carrying on a financial services business without a license.

A minimum of three years in jail must be served before being eligible for release.

Letten’s accountancy practice sourced the majority of more than 1,000 investors between 1998 and 2010 who placed more than $100 million in investment property schemes across Australia and New Zealand.

Letten managed and promoted these projects.

These companies and schemes were wound up following applications by ASIC in the Federal Court of Victoria. This began in 2010.

Losses of at least $67 million to investors were caused by the schemes, which the judge, during sentencing, acknowledged to have been exacerbated by the non-registration of the schemes and absence of associated investor protections.

ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said that Letten acted in disregard for the law, and with little concerns for the interests of property investors.

“His jailing should send a strong message to company directors and scheme operators about the serious consequences of operating property investment schemes outside the legal requirements,” he said.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

Tags: 
Asic

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?