Macro liquidators find $300,000 after at least $150 million was raised by the group

Macro liquidators find $300,000 after at least $150 million was raised by the group
Macro liquidators find $300,000 after at least $150 million was raised by the group

The businesswoman behind an alleged multimillion-dollar Pilbara Ponzi scheme, Veronica Macpherson, who headed the Macro Group of companies before they were wound up, has been convicted in the Perth Magistrate’s Court of charges including failing to assist a liquidator, failing to deliver books to a liquidator and failing to verify a statement in writing to a liquidator.

She did not appear in court and was convicted in her absence.

In May the Federal Court ordered six of Ms Macpherson’s companies to be wound up. A further 18 companies were wound up in June.

A recent report on the Macro group from the KPMG liquidator Hayden White of KPMG indicated only $300,000 had been found across all of Macro's bank and legal trust accounts.

The liquidators have identified that at least $150 million was successfully raised by the group.

"From our preliminary enquiries and our review of the available books and records, it appears that the Macro Group successfully raised at least $150 milion, $120 million of which was attributable to investor funds, sourced at interest rates as high as 50 percent," KPMG said.

It advised any recovery from Macro's landholdings was "highly uncertain" given the subdued property market.

The ASIC investigation continues into collapsed property developments of Perth businesswoman Veronica MacPherson.

The ASIC paperwork suggests they have lost contact with her having given a Winthrop address.

Macro Realty Developments’ brand ambassador was former rugby champion, David Campese.

The Macro Group was essentially set up to acquire and develop property holdings in Western Australia’s Newman region, with the intention of displacing the existing mine camp infrastructure, to create more permanent communities for the fly-in-fly-out workforce. The group was largely debt funded through non-traditional financiers and from private investors, largely overseas based. 

Liquidators estimated close 2,000 private investors invested about $120 million to the projects run by Ms MacPherson and the Macro Group of companies.

Singaporean and Malaysian investors were promised returns as high as 18 percent yearly from Macro Realty Developments Pte Ltd (MRD).

There were 651 investors from Malaysia, Singapore (981), Australia (31), the United Kingdom (58) and continental Europe (17).

The 244-lot estate sits undeveloped on the outskirts of Newman. There was also a Kurra estate.

"Whilst we continue to explore all available options to maximise the value of the Macro Group’s land holdings in conjunction with the receivers and managers, and other secured creditors, we do not, at this stage, consider a realisation of the assets will produce an outcome sufficient to allow for a return to unsecured creditors or investors," KPMG advised. 

Macro's developments were launched at the height of WA's mining construction boom.

It also came at a time when the state government has its liveable cities in the Pilbara initiative.

When the scheme collapsed, Macpherson’s financial services licence and passport were cancelled and her other active Australian companies were wound up by the Australian Federal Court.

In mid-2016 after Macro was accused of running a Ponzi scheme, MacPherson blogged that it "stemmed from a blackmail threat that we quite correctly rejected."

"We are forcefully fighting back against these unsubstantiated claims that are completely without merit.

"This has created a diversion from our core mission; to create proper housing, sustainable and thriving communities in the Pilbara, so I thought it best to begin blogging about our journey towards meeting the goals of our initiative and providing some insight into the process of getting there," she blogged.

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Kpmg Macro Group

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