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Friday, June 21, 2024

Five charged over ‘boiler room’ investment fraud scheme

Queensland Police have arrested and charged five people – including a 60-year-old Upper Coomera woman (pictured) – in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group commenced Operation Romeo Ecru in October 2019 to investigate cold call investment fraud (share trading software) occurring from business locations on the Gold Coast.

In May 2020, multiple search warrants were executed at business premises and residences across the Gold Coast where detectives seized a large quantity of documents and equipment indicating that the fraudulent scheme operated under trading names of ‘Starbrite Traders Pty Ltd’, ‘Digital Sky Systems’, ‘New Vison Products’ and ‘NPL’.

Following extensive investigations, it will be alleged the company defrauded over $3 million from approximately 300 people between 2018 and 2020. The large number of victims and volumes of evidence uncovered created a protracted investigation for detectives.

A man is taken into police custody during the operation.

Police have arrested and charged five people in relation to the investment fraud.

A 60-year-old Upper Coomera woman has been charged with has been charged with money laundering, fraud and personation in general – falsely represent. She is expected to appear at Southport Magistrates Court on March 1.

A 43-year-old Miami man has been charged with one count each of money laundering and fraud and is expected to appear at Southport Magistrate Court on March 19.

A 42-year-old Broadbeach Waters man has been charged with one count each of money laundering and fraud and is expected to appear at Southport Magistrates Court on March 19.

Police arrive to search the home of one of the alleged fraud offenders.

A 28-year-old Upper Coomera woman has been charged with one count of fraud and is expected to appear at Southport Magistrates Court on March 1.

A 43-year-old Paradise Point man has been charged with one count of fraud and is expected to appear at Southport Magistrates Court on March 5.

Detective Inspector Kerry Lofdahl from the Financial Crime Unit encouraged people to do due their due diligence when parting with their hard-earned money for potential investments.

“Apart from the financial detriment suffered by victims, it was also identified there had been significant harm caused to victims, including loss of livelihoods and impacts on their personal health and relationships,” Detective Inspector Lofdahl said.

“No reputable investment firm will cold-call you, or randomly contact you through online messaging platforms or social media to invest in their product.

“If you cannot explain to another person exactly how your investment works, you should engage the services of a registered financial planner.”

Members of the public can check if their financial adviser is registered by visiting https://moneysmart.gov.au/financial-advice/financial-advisers-register.

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