Monday, November 28, 2005

 

05-354 'Sunken treasure' investment promoter convicted

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ASIC
November 11, 2005

Mr Scott Robert Soutter, 41, of Warana in Queensland, has pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to one count of carrying on a financial services business without holding an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).

Mr Soutter was convicted of the charge, brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which alleged that Mr Soutter acted as a commission agent introducing numerous people to invest in a sunken treasure investment scheme known as the 'Hatcher Unit Trust'.

Mr Soutter was released on his own recognisance in the amount of $2,000 to be of good behaviour for two years. He was also ordered to pay costs.

The Hatcher Unit Trust, which ASIC allege is an unregistered managed investment scheme, was set up to raise money from the public to fund the recovery of sunken treasure from shipwrecks located in South-East Asia.

The schemes allegedly promised returns of up to 1365 per cent to investors.Many of the 130 Hatcher Unity Trust investors, who invested approximately US$535,000, lived in south-east Queensland.

The alleged principals of the Hatcher Unit Trust, Mr Christopher Paul Woolgrove and Mr John Lancelot Carson are due to appear for a committal hearing in Brisbane in February 2006.


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