Fraudster loses jail appeal

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 05:00 12/12/2013

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Convicted fraudster Evan Paul Cherry has lost his appeal against his six-year prison sentence, after he unsuccessfully argued it was too long to be fair.

Cherry, an unregulated financial adviser, pleaded guilty in the North Shore District Court last year to four charges of theft by a person in a special relationship involving $4.7 million of investor funds.

In December last year he was sentenced to six years and two months in prison.

He appealed the sentence, claiming that his lawyer at the time of sentencing had "incompetently" treated the Crown's summary of facts and failed to point out reparations he had made.

However, a Court of Appeal decision by Justices Rhys Harrison, Simon France and Robert Dobson rejected the concerns.

In the judgment, Justice Dobson said the differences of recollection between Cherry and his former lawyer were "either irrelevant or not credible".

He said payments from Cherry's business to his trust and personal bank accounts may well have been the source of the so-called reparations.

The judges also agreed that Cherry's minimum imprisonment period of three and a half years was appropriate to "denounce and deter" similar conduct.

His fraud was widespread and had a significant impact on a number of victims.

Cherry's Investment Solutions company accepted money from friends and family to invest in shares, notes, bonds and listed companies.

He admitted recycling investor contributions and appropriating $582,000 for personal expenses.

Those included paying the mortgage on a $1.3m home in a gated community in Coatesville, lease payments on Porsche and Audi cars and fees for his daughter to attend an exclusive private school.

Investors who believed they were due $9m were told by liquidators to brace themselves for a shortfall of $5m.

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