Dean George Scook, Perth entrepreneur, and Carol Norma Hardie, former director of Southern Wine Corporation (SWC), appeared in a West Australian court last week to face charges of stealing over $1 million.

ASIC alleged that Hardie, with Scook’s assistance, stole $1,013,500 early in 2000 from SWC – a company now in liquidation that managed the defunct Preston Vale Vineyard scheme. Approximately $28 million was raised for the ‘tax effective’ Preston Vale scheme, much of it through the Saxby Bridge financial planning group. Saxby Bridge, along with its head Jeffrey Braysich, were pursued by ASIC in 2001 over various charges, including some relating to Preston Vale, but were later cleared in the Federal Court in 2003 of any wrongdoing. However, Braysich along with Scook, are also facing charges of creating a false or misleading appearance of active trading during January and February 1998 in Intrepid Mining Corporation (later known as Cobra Resources NL and now called Resource Mining Corporation Ltd). Braysich and Scook were first committed to stand trial on these charges in August 2004. In the latest court case ASIC has alleged Hardie and Scook used the $1 million stolen fro SWC to pay a debt the two had “under a settlement agreement with a third party arising from a partnership dispute”. Hardie and Scook have been remanded on bail and are due to appear on August 11, 2006, for a committal hearing, ASIC said last week. The pair also faced a petition of bankruptcy in March this year from Perth-based company Posit Pty Ltd, which was later dismissed on the request of the applicant.

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