Thursday, November 5, 2015 : AUSSIE VICTIMS OF ONLINE GAMBLING CONMAN SEEK ORDERS TO FREEZE ASSETS
Over 100 angry victims are chasing down Peter Foster's missing millions.
Over 100 Australian investors in an online gambling enterprise, who claim they were conned by entrepreneur Peter Foster, are pursuing what they believe to be his concealed millions, serving eight freezing orders this week worth A$10 million on Foster and his associates, who include his niece Arabella and a high profile lawyer.
It is believed that the money is held in offshore tax havens at present, the Sydney Morning Herald reports, noting that the funds were allegedly siphoned off from Foster's online gambling company Sports Trading Club, in which the plaintiffs were invested.
"Corporate records reveal Ms Foster, a 29-year-old designer based in Brisbane, was linked to Hong Kong company Sports Trading Club Limited, while she also controls more than $6 million in offshore accounts in Vanuatu, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands. It is understood that most of the funds were transferred overseas from a Westpac account associated with Sports Trading Club in Australia," the newspaper reports.
The 53-year-old conman has a string of fraud convictions and international jail sentences against his name over the years, and was recently released from a Queensland prison after serving one year of an 18-month sentence for fraud.
In the past week he has applied for an Australian passport in order to travel to Hong Kong, a source told the SMH.
The aggrieved investors have now embarked on a class action in an attempt to recover the money funnelled offshore by the company management. A legal firm in Hong Kong has been appointed, along with international fraud investigative expert Ken Gamble, the Herald reports.
Foster used the alias "Mark Hughes" when dealing with clients, and duped several prominent sporting identities to work as ambassadors for the online company.
Sports Trading Club received investments between A$50,000 and A$250,000, which was pooled and punted on a range of international sporting events.
The firm's former spokesman, Patrick McMahon, claimed Australian investors had received a 1,900 percent return between January 2013 and June 2014.
Sports Trading Club Limited bona fides were first challenged in 2013 when it was revealed that at least two senior executives used fake images on their LinkedIn profiles, and the company allegedly fabricated quotations from a dead economist to promote its business.
"Foster was previously involved with an almost identical gambling business called Sportalists, which shut down its website after an expose on A Current Affair in 2012. Sports Trading Club was founded two months later," the Sydney Morning Herald report reveals.
Following a weight-loss scam, Foster breached his bail conditions and was a fugitive for over a year. He was finally detained after a dramatic arrest.