Queensland detectives press charges amid clampdown on $3m ‘cold call’ investment fraud scheme

Maria Nikolova

The charges follow investigations into Keystone Finance Pty Ltd and Prestige Capital Australia Pty Ltd, both alleged to have been involved in a $3 million ‘cold call’ investment fraud.

The Queensland Police keeps up with its efforts to tackle a “cold call” investment fraud scheme, associated with the names of two companies: Keystone Finance Pty Ltd and Prestige Capital Australia Pty Ltd.

Today, the Queensland Police announced that detectives from State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Gangs Group had charged a 43-year-old man with various finance crimes offences. The man has been charged with three Commonwealth offences including two offences under the Financial Transactions Reports Act (failing to comply with mandatory cash transaction reporting) and a further charge of dealing with money reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

He was served documents this morning requiring him to appear before the Southport Magistrates Court on December 13, 2017.

The charges are the result of investigations into Keystone Finance Pty Ltd and Prestige Capital Australia Pty Ltd, alleged to have been involved in an investment fraud operation on the Gold Coast between 2014 and 2016.

In October last year, the police arrested two men, alleged to be the principals of the Keystone Finance and Prestige Capital Australia. The two companies operated telemarketing call centres out of rented Surfers Paradise offices. Investors across Australia were contacted and induced into collectively transferring over $3 million to the scammers. The companies sold membership to a managed investment trading service, with victims purchasing membership and then pumping extra funds to become participants in an “investment-related trading activity”.

Victims of the fraudulent scheme have dubbed it a type of gambling and have likened it to binary options trading.

In July this year, detectives from State Crime Command in Brisbane arrested a 74-year-old former Gold Coast man for fraud, money laundering and perjury related offences, with relation to his alleged involvement in this investment fraud syndicate. It is alleged the man arrested on Tuesday got approximately $950,000 from the fraudulent scheme and the majority of this money was spent on lifestyle expenses and the purchase and renovation of a 70-foot luxury motor launch called the ‘Montage’.

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