"Warning, do your background checks!"



From: Jim Johnson

The former Victorian chairman of Crime Stoppers has been charged with dozens of criminal offences after the $20million collapse of an investment company.
John Caust, who worked more than three years with the community crime-fighting program, has been charged, along with the Kew company's former managing director, Jon Melville McKenney.

Mr Caust, 51, was general manager of Lifestyle Property Investments Pty Ltd, a luxury residential property developer, when it collapsed last year. Many of the 100 investors in Lifestyle's 54 subsidiary companies, marketed mainly to Victorian and interstate investors through financial planners and brokers, have lost their life savings. The collapse caused losses in excess of $20 million.

Mr Caust and Mr McKenney, Lifestyle's former managing director, are expected to appear tomorrow in Melbourne Magistrates Court for a filing hearing. Mr Caust and Mr McKenney were charged by officers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Mr Caust faces more than 50 charges, which include offences alleging failing to act honestly in his duties, obtaining property by deception and obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Mr McKenney faces a total of 26 charges, which include allegations of knowingly and intending to deceive and failing to exercise duties for a proper purpose.

The Age reported in July last year that investigations began the month before into the Lifestyle group of companies when the Tax Office applied to the Victorian Supreme Court to liquidate the group over debts of $205,000 to the ATO.

Justice Marilyn Warren ordered that most of the 54 companies be liquidated under the control of Clyde White, of the chartered accountants MGI Meyrick Webster.

Mr White told The Age yesterday that he was not yet able to say whether any creditors would see any of their money. He said he had issued numerous writs against people in the hope of retrieving or ``clawing back" assets.

Mr Caust was appointed to Crime Stoppers in December, 1996, and was variously its Victorian chairman, chairman of Crime Stoppers Australia and a director on the board of Crime Stoppers International.

He resigned his positions and from the program in July last year, the same month that ASIC and ATO began investigating Lifestyle.

Police said at the time that Mr Caust had resigned for personal reasons.

*Jon Melville McKenney is currently involved with The Investment Institute.
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Reply: 1
From: Paul Murphy

As the founder and Director of The Investment Institute, I felt it both appropriate and imperative to reply to this posting.

I am personally proud of the role that The Investment Institute is playing in providing quality, independent property investment education, and also the role we play in acquiring properties on behalf of our clients significantly below sworn valuation price.

If anyone wishes to speak to me directly regarding the contents of the above posting, The Institute or anyone working with, or on behalf of the Investment Institute, please have no hesitation in contacting me directly. For those choosing to contact me, you will receive the real facts about any issue, not some posting designed to discredit our company.

The office number of The Investment Institute is (03) 9909 7233. I would welcome your call.

Paul Murphy
Managing Director
The Investment Institute
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Reply: 1.1
From: Michael G


Would it more time effective to write one post, and place it here, than reply to individual posts?

Just a thought.

Michael G.
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