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Monday, June 24, 2024

Man arrested over alleged $91,000 puppy scam ring

NSW detectives have charged a 53-year-old man over his alleged role in scamming more than $91,000 from would-be dog owners before laundering the money through cryptocurrency.

In May 2021, detectives from Cumberland and Parramatta Police Area Commands began investigating reports of fraudulent online advertisements for English Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and French Bulldog puppies.

“Police will allege a multinational crime syndicate was behind the ads and defrauded at least 23 buyers across Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia,” NSW Police said in a statement.

Police say the buyers paid deposits for dogs that never existed before the fake breeders cut contact with them.

“The Sydney man allegedly acted as a money mule for the syndicate, receiving a total of $91,580 in deposits from the buyers into his bank accounts before allegedly converting the money into cryptocurrency.”

“Following extensive investigations, detectives executed a search warrant at a unit on George Street, Sydney, about 8.45am today and seized electronic devices and documents.”

Police arrested the 53-year-old man at the unit before taking him to Day Street Police Station, where he was charged with one count of participate in criminal group, and 23 counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

He was granted conditional bail to appear before Downing Centre Local Court on June 23.

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