A fourth man has been charged over an alleged multimillion property fraud in Western Australia.
Earlier this month, Colin King and his sons, Paul and Michael, were charged with fraudulently obtaining $6.3 million over the $17 million sale of six rural properties between 2008 and 2011.
The men have been accused of buying the properties on behalf of international vendors but misrepresenting the price offered and funnelling the excess profits through shelf companies.
The fourth man charged was Colin King’s son, Darren, who joined his family in fronting the Perth Magistrates Court last Thursday.
According to The West Australia, all four men pleaded 'not guilty' to the charges, indicating they would defend the allegations against them.
Colin and Michael King each face six fraud charges, while Paul King has been charged with four offences and Darren King with three.
Detective Senior Sergeant Dom Blackshaw of the Major Fraud Squad told Real Estate Business last month that the case showed how important it is for buyers and sellers to scrutinise the actions of their agents.
“People need to know exactly what agents are doing when they’re selling their properties because [in this case] there was effectively a commission being pulled out that the agents weren’t entitled to because they were buying and selling property to two separate people, and then taking the profit from the middle,” he said.
Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) deputy president Hayden Groves revealed the men were former members of the institute.
"If what has transpired proves to be correct and they're convicted of the offences ... we'd be happy to see them prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Mr Groves said.
The four men are due back in court in February.