Fast Cars Lead Froggy Director to Jail

Entrepreneur and former director of the Froggy group of companies, Karl Suleman, has been sentenced to 21 months jail for misrepresenting his financial status to purchase Ferraris and a luxury yacht.

Mr Suleman, 42 years old, has been in custody since 5 March 2004, when he was found guilty by a jury on four charges, following a two-week trial. Yesterday the NSW District Court handed down Mr Suleman's sentence, with a non-parole period of 12 months. This includes time already served, so he will be eligible for parole on 4 March 2005.

The fraud charges resulted from an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation into Karl Suleman Enterprizes Pty Ltd (KSE) concerning the operation of an unregistered managed investment scheme and other businesses in the Froggy Group.

Mr Suleman was a director of KSE and all the companies within the Froggy Group, including Froggy Holdings Pty Ltd. District Court Judge Peter Berman said Mr Suleman was "an entrepreneur whose light burnt magnesium-bright for a short time".

ASIC alleged that around 11 December 2000, Mr Suleman used a false bank statement, which he gave to a finance broker, with the intention of obtaining finance in the amount of $355,000 to purchase a Ferrari Spyder 355.

ASIC also alleged that between 1 March 2001 and 16 October 2001, on three separate occasions, Mr Suleman made false statements to finance brokers with the intention of obtaining finance to purchase a $3.3 million Princess Motor yacht and a $360,000 Ferrari Modena.

KSE was placed into voluntary administration on 12 November 2001, soon after ASIC commenced proceedings before the NSW Supreme Court to close down an unregistered managed investment scheme operated by the company. KSE and several related companies within the Froggy Group have since been placed into liquidation.

On 22 July 2002, Mr Suleman was ordered to pay $17.4 million in damages to KSE. Shortly afterwards, he was declared bankrupt.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Jeffrey Lucy, acting Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), noted the sentence, but said ASIC's investigations were continuing.

16 April, 2004

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