Adviser pleads guilty to Nigerian scam fraud

Former Grosvenor Securities representative Robert Andrew Street awaits sentencing in the County Court of Victoria after pleading guilty to fraud charges to the value of $1,039,910 following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Street faced court yesterday charged with five counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception between September 2001 and August 2002.

Street operated the Box Hill-based financial planning business called ‘Making Dollars and Sense’, and until October 2002 was a securities representative for Grosvenor Securities.

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During this period Street extracted more than $1 million from his clients on the promise of risk free investing and sizable returns.

This was the last his clients saw of their money.

Clients believed their adviser was employing their funds to complete a number of investment projects Street was developing, including an electronic system of tracking stolen cars and a bank scheme to reduce mortgage repayments.

However, Street was involved in a ‘Nigerian Scam’ where he had been led to believe that a person purporting to be a representative of a Nigerian government committee had offered to transfer US$65 million to Street, upon payment of certain up-front fees.

Street transferred the majority of the clients’ funds to various overseas destinations, believing it would be used to pay the up-front fees, after which time he would receive US$65 million.

Street also used $10,000 of the clients’ funds to purchase a number of mobile telephones which he arranged to be delivered to an address in Nigeria.

ASIC had previously obtained orders in the Federal Court, appointing liquidators to Street’s companies. ASIC has also accepted an enforceable undertaking from Street permanently excluding him from the financial services industry.

Street will be back before the court on November 4 for sentencing.

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