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Prison bars

Australian futures trader’s sentence upheld

Former futures trader Spartaco Fasciale has lost his appeal against a six year jail term for obtaining property and a financial advantage by deception and breaching his duties as a company director.

Fasciale, formerly of Moonee Ponds, Victoria, appealed his sentence following his conviction in December 2008 as a result of an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Fasciale must serve a minimum of four and a half years before he is eligible for parole, and had asked the Victorian Court of Appeal to consider whether the sentence was manifestly excessive.

In December 2008, Fasciale was convicted by a jury on four counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, ten counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and 14 counts of breaching directors’ duties following a two-week trial. He was found not guilty in relation to three counts of breaching directors’ duties and not guilty of a further count by direction of the Court.

At the time of the offences, Fasciale was the director of Fasciale Futures Trading, now in liquidation. ASIC found that between March 2004 and May 2006 nine people invested over AUD1.4m with Fasciale Futures on the understanding that some of the funds would be traded on the Australian Securities Exchange and other money would be held in trust. Investors were also advised that Fasciale would make returns of between three and five per cent every month.

Fasciale subsequently lost over AUD250,000 of investors’ money trading on futures contracts and used the remaining money to pay investors their returns as well as cover his own lifestyle expenses.

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