Convicted fraudster Douglas Gordon Johnston of Carrum Downs, Victoria has been sentenced to six years jail in Melbourne’s County Court on Tuesday morning for his part in a million dollar fraud.
Mr Johnston and his wife Maureen Johnston ran a scam that exploited a number of Collingwood football fans with bogus property investments and then frittered away the money gambling at Crown Casino.
Mr Johnston has been given a custodial sentence of six years with a minimum of three years after pleading guilty to charges related to his defrauding investors of approximately $815,000.
In delivering the sentence Justice Wendy Wilmoth said Mr Johnston lied about his involvement in the ponzi scheme. She described his actions as callous and said he demonstrated no insight into his crimes.
“Your moral culpability is greater – you offended gravely in the past and were already punished. Once again you are deceiving people, virtually ruining their lives” Justice Wilmoth said.
Mr Johnston’s wife Maureen Johnston had previously been sentenced to five years and six months in December 2018 after pleading guilty to her role in the scam which accounted for $1,027,000 of lost funds.
Mr and Mrs Johnston were known to meet victims through the Collingwood football club. They were then wined and dined alongside former players which added a veneer of legitimacy to the scam.
Their victims were told the funds raised were being invested in property developments in Australia and the US however in reality the funds were gambled away and used to pay down personal credit card debts.
Mr Johnston was a repeat offender and had previously been sentenced to four years and nine months jail with a minimum of three years and six months after being convicted of 26 charges in October 2002.
That matter involved Mr Johnston stealing $843,416 from clients of his accounting firm Cranbourne Park Accounting Services.
His daughter Fiona Johnston also received a six month suspended jail term and a fine of $500 for making improper use of her position as a director.
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