Gold Coast Developer Charged With Fraud

A former Gold Coast property development company director has been charged with fraud after an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.

Ian Omar Chester was involved with Vested Capital Pty Ltd and several other associated companies engaged in projects in south-east Queensland. 

Chester appeared today at Southport Magistrates Court charged with 15 counts of fraud, three counts of falsifying company records and two counts of providing false or misleading information to the members of a corporation.

The charges related to Chester’s activities with the Vested group of companies, of which 14 were wound up in July 2021, and a further company was liquidated in the aftermath. 

According to court documents from 2021, Chester was the sole director of a company called 53 Rankin Investments Pty Ltd which took $1.1 million from investors to develop a site at 53 Rankin Parade, Main Beach. 

No land had been acquired and no development ever took place, but the funds were retained and it was alleged that there was a transfer of funds from the Rankin Parade company to another, of which Chester was the sole director.

Subsequently, ASIC took action against Chester and his wife Sophie Sylvia Chester to enact asset preservation orders, freezing their assets while an investigation was ongoing.

This matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and the maximum penalty for fraud offences ranges between 14 to 20 years imprisonment. 

Southport Magistrates Court advised The Urban Developer that a bail undertaking had been entered in Chester’s case and he was due back in court on February 5, 2024.

Chester’s live LinkedIn states that he was an “astute property investor” and managing director of Vested Property Group. 

He said that he had a ‘personal track record’ of $767 million in residential sales and had delivered $64 million in residential projects, although these figures could not be independently verified. 

Chester declared bankruptcy in July 2022, which is classed as an undischarged bankrupt, as the bankruptcy process is still ongoing.

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