Three fraud charges have been laid against a former employee of the Green Acres franchise company.
The Serious Fraud Office says Keith Lapham obtained more than $3.5 million from more than 170 people by granting them sub-franchises between March and December last year.
The SFO believes Mr Lapham got the money by telling the sub-franchisees he would pay them guaranteed income of $650 a week, when he knew he could not pay it.
It also accuses Mr Lapham of obtaining $96,000 of that money by telling four franchisees there were many fewer sub-franchises than there actually were.
The third charge accuses Mr Lapham of obtaining more than $244,000 by making false representations to Green Acres about how many sub-franchises he granted.
Mr Lapham has been remanded on bail until next year.