‘Quite persuasive’: Contacted by a man called Craig

Mum-and-dad investors allegedly ripped off by former rich lister Craig Gore have told a Queensland court they believed they had lost their life savings after he convinced them to invest in a high-interest scheme that prosecutors say fraudulently funded company debts and the property developer's rent.

Self-managed-super-fund holder Tim Russell is one of a number of people who withdrew money for a purported 90-day high-interest debentures scheme between 2013 and 2014, the Brisbane District Court heard today.

The alleged fraud victims agreed to invest the money after being contacted by a man Crown prosecutor Michael Copley QC argues was property developer Craig Gore, who was working for finance company Arion Financial at the time.

Arion was managing the investor's super funds.

Gore has pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of fraud in the Brisbane District Court, where he is facing a judge-only trial.


Craig Gore outside Brisbane District Court this week. Picture: Tertius Pickard/NCA NewsWire
Craig Gore outside Brisbane District Court this week. Picture: Tertius Pickard/NCA NewsWire


He is accused of swindling about $800,000 from the self-managed-super-fund investors to pay Arion's debts and rent on his Queensland home.

In each of the cases, investors were allegedly contacted by a man named "Craig" and told a 90-day rolling "low-risk" investment scheme that would return 8.25 per cent on their investment.

Mr Copley QC alleged all communications from the man named "Craig" were between investors and the accused man Craig Gore.

The 53-year-old son of Sanctuary Cove developer Mike Gore is accused of engaging in the fraud for the benefit of the companies Arion Financial and Arion Group.

The court heard the money was never returned to investors, but withdrawn from the bank account it was paid into within two weeks of its deposit.

The twice-bankrupt Gold Coast businessman's trial today heard Mr Russell invested $210,000 with the scheme, which was later clawed back by financial services company IOOF Holdings Limited.

Mr Russell gave evidence via video link that the man alleged to be Gore had also tried to encourage him to invest in a property development opportunity.

"I remember Craig being quite persuasive," he said.

The Brisbane father said after losing his investment he was able to track the money down with the help of IOOF, but not without difficulty.

"I was resigned to the fact I would not get that back," he said today.

"At the time, the stress of losing your life savings really muddles your thinking."

The trial continues.


Originally published as 'Quite persuasive': Contacted by a man called Craig