Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Michael SAMRA - Fraud

South Australia

Former co-director and shareholder of Adelaide Lending Centre  57 year old Michael Samra of Plympton Park, Adelaide was sentenced in the District Court of South Australia to 8 years and 9 months’ imprisonment for deceiving investors and obtaining funds  totalling $1.902 million.

Between 1999 and 2009 Michael Samra operated a finance broking business called Adelaide Lending Centre. Through a related company called ALC Group Pty Ltd Mr Samra offered private money mortgages, which involved receiving funds from investors, who would often enter into a loan agreement with the company.

Between January 2009 and July 2009 Mr Samra obtained $1.9 million from six different victims. Mr Samra sought loans from them and told them that those loan funds would be on-lend to builders or developers who would pay high interest rates for quick access to short term loans. In fact, none of the victims’ funds were used for the purpose as represented by Mr Samra; instead, those funds were disbursed within days with the majority being paid to other investors in ALC Group.  Mr Samra had a long-standing business or personal relationship with many of the victims, and the victims provided the funds to Mr Samra with little or no supporting documentation.

The South Australian Police referred this matter to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) after receiving complaints from investors and ASIC commenced its investigation into the collapse of ALC Group.

Charge / Sentence

On 30 March 2017 in the District Court of South Australia Mr Samra entered guilty pleas in relation to 6 counts of deception, contrary to s139(a) of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

On 10 August 2017 Mr Samra was sentenced by her Honour Judge Davison for all offences to 8 years and 9 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 4 years and 6 months 

Her Honour Judge Davison - Remarks on Sentence

"I have received victim impact statements from a number of the victims in these matters. I have taken into account in sentencing you the impact that your offending has had upon these people. These people have been generally hardworking individuals who have been striving to do their best to provide for their families and their own retirements.  Each of them has been significantly financially disadvantaged by your behaviour. Beyond that, of course, they have the devastation and stress that comes from financial difficulties and the effect of having so badly judged the situation as they see it. For some of them, the effects have been all-pervasive. Families have suffered and, importantly, they no longer feel that they can trust others as they once did. Each of them feels that they have been deceived by your conduct and that the loss that they have suffered has had a significant impact upon their private lives."

"In the circumstances, I consider that a term of imprisonment is appropriate. These offences are serious offences involving large amounts of money and a significant deceit practised on each of the victims. They were committed over a six-month period and involved a consistent and persistent demonstration of fraud."

"Your behaviour was premeditated, deliberate and repetitive. As was observed by Debelle J in Cavanagh, albeit for a different factual scenario, for offences of this scale deterrence must be the predominant factor. In the circumstances, these objectives require that the sentence be served in a custodial setting."

To obtain the full judgment in this matter contact the relevant court.