AN outlaw motorcycle gang is
suspected of involvement in a scam that
fleeced $1.4 million from mum and dad
believe members and associates of the Bandidos
Motorcycle Club were key players in swindling at
least 150 victims.
The sting was run
from a "virtual office" in Melbourne's CBD.
The Herald Sun
has been told some of the potential victims -
mostly Victorians who were lured by advertising
- were taken to the office and impressed with
the scheme's "staff" and swank boardroom.
But the organisers
were just one of many businesses paying a fee
for use of the offices.
were guaranteed good returns on their
investments but wound up losing the lot.
Some later visited
the office to find those behind the scam were no
longer there. The organisers' mobile phones were
It is alleged that
"runners" who were paid a small fee were sent to
bank branches to collect victims' deposits.
Some were escorted
by a hulking competitive fighter to discourage
any ideas of running off with the cash. One
"runner" told the Herald Sun he was used to open
fake bank accounts and withdraw money from them
under the threat of violence.
It will be alleged
about $200,000 a month was stolen between
September last year and March this year.
At least 150
investors - most from Victoria - lost between
$10,000 and $50,000.
Among them were
staff at a major Victorian construction firm
whose personal details were somehow obtained.
While they lost
their money, the scheme's principal player
continued to live the high life.
He drives a
top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz and holds a
$40,000-a-year membership to one of Australia's
most prestigious golf courses.
The man recently
holidayed with one of Australia's top sportsmen
in Asia and a member of the Bandidos.
vented their anger on a consumer website.
Police confirmed a
30-year-old Brisbane man was extradited from
Queensland this month by detectives from
He has been
charged with obtaining property by deception and
will face Melbourne Magistrates' Court in