Internet radio spruiker pleads guilty of fraud

A man who made promises that induced people to invest in an Internet radio station has pleaded guilty on 10 charges in the New South Wales district court.Paul Hodges will face sentencing proceedings on September 24 on charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

A man who made promises that induced people to invest in an Internet radio station has pleaded guilty on 10 charges in the New South Wales district court.

Paul Hodges will face sentencing proceedings on September 24 on charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Hodges pleaded guilty to 10 counts of making false statements that induced 10 people to invest approximately AU$240,000 in the Talk Australia project between August 1999 and August 2000.

The Talk Australia project, operated by Talk Australia Pty Limited, involved the building and operating of an Internet radio station that was aimed to offer talkback and news services.

A studio was built in Glebe, NSW and went on air on 16 October 2000. The station operated for one month before being closed down on 17 November 2000.

Hodges's false statements included promises of high profile announcers for the show such as Ray Martin. He also claimed that Ozemail had a contract with Talk Australia and would be putting in up to AU$600,000, and that six foundation advertisers had already put in AU$100,000 each.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

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