Alleged online fraud schemes that fleeced more than $2 million and have links to criminal bikie gangs have been shut down after five homes were raided by police on Thursday.
A 33-year-old Brisbane man, who police allege is an associate of the Bandidos and Black Uhlans, was charged with fraud, money laundering and false representation offences.
The charges relate to two alleged schemes involving betting software and online investments.
Items seized as part of the Taskforce Maxima’s ‘Criminal Economy Unit’ investigations into two allegedly fraudulent schemes, estimated to have realised in excess of $2 million. Photo: Scott Beveridge
Police claim the alleged conman leveraged off a legitimate Perth investment company named M6 Securities, by cloning its website and assuming the persona of one of its directors, Graham Anderson.
Fairfax Media has contacted the company’s directors for comment.
On Thursday, officers from Taskforce Maxima's criminal economy unit searched five properties in Brisbane and the Gold Coast and seized documents, mobile phones, computers, jewellery and clothing.
They also seized a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle, believed to have been purchased using proceeds of crime.
Detective Inspector Phillip Stevens said there were believed to be a dozen victims, one of whom lost $600,000.
He said about $270,000 of alleged stolen money had been frozen so far.
Inspector Stevens said alleged victims had been lured into investing by the “persuasive” man, and after small deposits made good returns, they invested larger amounts.
The 33-year-old man will face the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday.
Police are now searching for a member of the Bandidos and a member of the Black Uhlans.
Inspector Stevens said police had identified several companies linked to alleged fraudulent activity.
“Today's arrests are by no means the end of these investigations, they merely form part of a wider investigative strategy.”
Taskforce Maxima boss Mick Niland said the scam had affected “everyday people”.
“These crimes have affected everyday people. Some of them have lost their life savings. At the heart of it - behind it - are a number of members of criminal motorcycle gangs.”