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Sure it’s wrong and theft is theft, and the law should prevail


what about the apparent open market foreigners seem to enjoy?

-why wasn’t he trying to sell to Australians?

why is it so important to seek foreign investors over Australian buyers?

why is the distortion in demand caused by foreign buyers such a good thing?


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Adelaide man found guilty of stealing $300,000 from foreign property investors

By Meagan Dillon

16 OCTOBER 2019

Yida Benny Xiong outside an Adelaide court.

PHOTO: Xiong outside court in 2016. (ABC News: Rebecca Opie)

A man who ripped off two foreign investors of more than $300,000 by failing to put their money into the purchase of a plot of land in Adelaide has been found guilty of theft.

Key points:

  • Yida Benny Xiong was found guilty of stealing $300,000 from overseas property investors
  • His lawyer called for a suspended sentence or home detention
  • * The prosecution said his crimes could impact other foreign investment in the Australian property market *

Yida Benny Xiong, who used the money himself, will be sentenced in the South Australian District Court on Friday for the thefts, which took place over years.

Xiong’s lawyer Edward Jolly told Judge Wayne Chivell that his client accepted the guilty verdicts, but urged the court to impose either a suspended sentence or home detention.

“He poses no risk to the community,” Mr Jolly said.

He said Xiong, 28, did intend to invest his victim’s money into the Adelaide property market but “used the money for his own purposes”.

“He has lived a privileged life,” he said.

Mr Jolly told the court that Xiong was born in China, but immigrated to Australia in 2007 with his parents and was now working as a construction manager.

He said Xiong was never a registered real estate agent and was 21 at the time of the offending.

Car repossessed and Xiong to repay victims

The court heard BMW had since repossessed his car — valued at up to $150,000 — and he was still in significant debt.

Mr Jolly said Xiong would repay his victims and he still owed them about $71,000.

“He would be able to make the payments over the next two years,” he said.

Prosecutors told the court that Xiong took $273,000 from one victim and $45,000 from another and told them he had invested their funds into land at Mitcham, in Adelaide’s south.

He still owes about $25,000 to the first victim and the second victim has not received any money.

They said the offending started in September 2013 and the victims did not see any money for their investment until July 2016.

“This was an ongoing course of dishonesty,” prosecutors said.

The court was told Xiong’s crimes did not just have a personal impact on the victims, but also a cultural impact, and that it could impact other foreign investment in the Australian property market.