Disgraced high-tech entrepreneur, Karl Suleman – director of the Froggy chain of companies – has been found guilty on four counts of fraud and sentenced to 21 months in jail, with a non-parole period of 12 months.
Sulemann was sentenced in the NSW District Court, Downing Centre, on April 8, on charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which had been investigating Suleman’s business dealings since 2001.
The case revolved around several allegations that Suleman had lied in applications for finance for luxury items including a yacht and two Ferraris.
The fraud charges arose from an ASIC investigation into Karl Suleman Enterprises (KSE) over an unregistered managed investment scheme and other businesses in the Froggy Group of companies.
Suleman was a director of KSE and all companies within the Froggy Group.
ASIC alleged that in December 2000, Suleman used a false bank statement, through a finance broker, with the intention to obtain $355,000 in finances to purchase a Ferrari Spyder 355 motor car.
Additionally, ASIC alleged that on three separate occasions between March and October 2001, Suleman made false statements to finance brokers with the intention of obtaining finances to purchase a $3.3 million Princess Motor yacht and a $360,000 Ferrari Modena.
Suleman was declared bankrupt on July 30, 2002, less than a year after he was ordered to pay $17.4 million in damages to KSE, which was placed in voluntary administration in November 2001.
This followed soon after ASIC took action in the NSW Supreme Court to close down an unregistered managed investment scheme operated by the company.
ISP, Froggy, was bought by successive owners before being acquired by WA-based ISP iinet in February, as part of its purchase of FlowCom, which had entered receivership in January.
Suleman had pleaded not guilty to all the changes. In announcing the sentence, NSW District Court Judge Peter Berman commented on Suleman's lack of remorse. He will be eligible for parole on March 4, 2005.
In a statement, ASIC said its investigation into Suleman was continuing.