Fraudster jailed, victim left in ‘devastating’ position

Cheryl Goodenough |

A financial trader extradited from Poland has been jailed for fraudulently using investors’ money.
A financial trader extradited from Poland has been jailed for fraudulently using investors’ money.

A Gold Coast financial trader used more than $770,000 of investor money to buy property and a luxury car for his girlfriend, leaving a man in a devastating financial position.

Then he left the country to avoid the consequences.

Daniel Farook Ali was sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Friday after pleading guilty to five counts of fraud committing between March and November 2017.

The now 54-year-old was extradited from Poland in 2021 and arrested following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation.

Investors transferred money based on Ali’s claims of earlier success and assurances about his investment methods, Judge Carl Heaton said.

“You were able to persuade people to invest with you and, despite the trust they then placed in you to deal with their money as you had undertaken to do, you used their money for your own purposes,” he told Ali.

He used $771,303.95 to pay deposits on a NSW and a Queensland property, school fees and mortgage repayments and $120,000 for a BMW for his girlfriend.

He also used the money to pay the expected returns of other investors.

“Whatever your intentions may have been on receipt of the money, your dishonesty was clearly demonstrated by your use of the money for personal purposes and purposes which were clearly not within the terms on which the money was given to you,” Judge Heaton told Ali.

Two investors who provided statements to the court spoke of the impact caused to their financial security,.

For one man the fraud contributed to a “significantly devastating financial position”.

Ali was banned from engaging in a financial services business after ASIC started investigating and given notice of civil proceedings in November 2017.

On May 8, 2018 he left Australia, saying he was taking up a job opportunity in Dubai.

Judge Heaton said Ali provided scant information about the employment and did not feel it necessary to inquire as to the financial wellbeing of clients whose money he had dishonestly used.

“I am satisfied that to some extent your motivation for leaving Australia was to avoid the consequences of your criminal offending.”

Ali was arrested in Warsaw in November 2021 and extradited, after an unsuccessful appeal, in July 2022, leaving his Ukrainian wife and child who fled to Germany as refugees.

Ali was also convicted in 2013 of using $32,000 for his own expenses from money given to him by others to invest on their behalf.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail, suspended after serving six months for that conviction.

Judge Heaton described the latest offending as serious, sophisticated and involving a large amount of money.

Ali, who has not compensated any victims, was sentenced to seven years and three months.

He will be eligible for release on parole on July 5 after serving 645 days in custody in Queensland.

AAP