6 Nov 2008

SFO charges former Green Acres employee

4:45 pm on 6 November 2008

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.