True Crime Stories Australia: Fraudsters

True Crime Stories Australia: Fraudsters

Every country has true crime stories and Australia is no exception. Today, we take a brief look at fraudsters and what Aussie’s abroad can do to avoid becoming a victim to fraud. Some of these characters are worse than others but all interesting and unbelievable.

Enjoy these true crime stories quick read on Australian fraudsters.

Alan Bond

It might be a bit harsh to label Alan Bond a fraudster but this colorful Aussie was convicted of fraud nonetheless. Alan Bond is the type of character that people make movies about. In fact, I like the guy.

He was Australian of the year in 1978, bank rolled the America’s Cup Yacht Race which won in 1983, was one of Australia’s richest businessmen in the booming 1980s and he was awarded the Order Of Australia.

He emigrated to Australia from London at the age of 12 and achieved wealth through property, breweries and mining. Bond funded Australia’s first private University, Bond University on the Gold Coast. The painting, Irises, by Vincent Van Gogh was purchased by Bond for $54 Million.

He was charged with fraud for taking money from one company and putting it into another company. The problem was he had a controlling interest in the first company and owned the second and the sums were huge, In 1992 he declared bankruptcy with a personal debt of 1.8 Billion dollars. He was released from jail after serving 4 years and was later featured in BRW’s top 200 richest people in Australia in 2008. Nice comeback.

Alan Bond died of heart complications in June of 2015, at the age of 77.

Christopher Skase

The rise to wealth and the fall to grace of Christopher Skase is a spectacular story on both accounts. Just like Alan Bond, he managed to build an empire from nothing, however Bond faced up to meet the consequences of his actions but Skase ran away like a coward. After the collapse of Skase’s empire he fled to Spain and avoided returning to Australia to face over 60 criminal charges as well as debts of over $1.5 Billion.

 

He successfully beat all attempts by Australian authorities to bring him back, due to the fact that Australia has no extradition treaty with Spain. He claimed to be ill and too sick to travel and images of him in a wheelchair and oxygen mask were flashed all over the media while thousands of Australians were left with empty pockets. He and his family lived in a mansion in Majorca and he was caught on film playing tennis and walking his dog.

Skase always thought big, a little bigger than he was able to afford. He bought a tin mining company in the 1970’s and managed to turn it into a household name. He later bought Channel Seven Network and effectively controlled almost 70% of Australian television. The problem was he didn’t actually have the money to pay for all of these big business assets.

True Crime Stories Australia: Fraudsters

The 1980’s saw him with resorts, million dollar parties, a jet, yachts and expensive art. He made a bid for MGM United Artists Movie Studios but couldn’t pay the first installment of $25 million. After this, his flimsy house of cards came crashing back down to earth.

He was Australia’s most wanted man for over 10 years and never faced punishment for his crimes. He died in Spain in 2001 at the age of 53.

Peter Foster

While Bond was big business gone wrong and Skase an absconder, Peter Foster was all of these things plus a career criminal and fraudster. Foster is a self described “International Man of mischief”. He has faced several bankruptcies and charges related to scams, avoiding justice, fraud, resisting arrest, money laundering and contept of court. Foster has been jailed in the UK, USA and Australia.

Peter Foster was once romantically involved with the model Samantha Fox, lived with Mohamed Ali for several weeks while filming a documentary on the boxers’ life, was a police informant, an election campaigner for the 2001 Fijian General Election. You can’t make this stuff up.

He was also involved in “Cheriegate” where Foster was investigated after assisting the then British Prime Ministers wife, Cherie Blair purchase two properties in the UK at a discount.

This guys life reads like a tale of lies, deceit and never ending trickery. There is way too much about him to put in a small article.

Love Scams

Did you know that Aussies lose over $25 million a year to love scams?

Love or romance scams are a well orchestrated con designed to fleece people out of their hard-earned money by playing on their emotions. Usually the victims are single, widowed, lonely and desperate for love and companionship. Sadly, when these people are at their most vulnerable is when these fraudsters strike. They build up trust over a few months online and eventually create an elaborate story to convince the victims to send their money overseas.

The scam has become so common that reputable money transfer companies are trained to ask the tough questions to their clients to recognize and prevent people being unsuspecting victims. The scams are part of organized crime syndicates and they often work out of call centers. Many intelligent people have fallen victim to these scams as we all want love and trust in our lives.

People can be convinced to go abroad to meet their fake loves and be used as drug mules without their knowledge. In the two-year period between 2013-2015 the Australian Federal Police arrested 39 people smuggling drugs who claimed they were scammed.

True Crime Stories Australia: Fraudsters

If you think that you or someone you know is being scammed while abroad then you must contact the Department of Foreign Trade on 0061262613305 or report it to www.scamwatch.gov.au.

There You Have It

There you have some true crime stories from Australia. Now you can share some stories with your friends whilst traveling. Hope you enjoyed our article and we would love to hear from you so get vocal with some comments section below.

If you enjoyed this article read True Crime Stories Australia: Bank Robbers

 

 

4 Replies to “True Crime Stories Australia: Fraudsters”

  1. Thank you sharing the true criminal and scam stories. I enjoyed reading them.

    It was very interesting how one can be bankrupt and then picked himself up and became a millionaire again. He knew how to work the system.

    The scam story sounded similar to the scam stories in America as well. Lots of people got scammed also in the Ponzi Scheme. Wondering if the Ponzi Scheme happened in Australia as well?

    1. Yes, Ponzi Schemes can happen anywhere, although not common in Australia. If you enjoyed reading about True Criminal Stories Australia, try reading about Bank Robbers. You can’t make this stuff up.

  2. Hey, awesome article.

    These fraudsters are something else. But they are truly creative and clever thinkers.

    Where I’m from the people are so crooked, they turn a corner by accident. Good to know its not just here.

    But you have to give them credit. From a business perspective, fraudsters know their audience, they know their industry and they know the law well enough to bend it to their needs. In these guys cases, it broke.

    Great article, keep up the great work 🙂

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