A Kaleen banker is facing 183 charges after allegedly defrauding a Sutton business of more than $4.1 million by getting the sick owner to withdraw cheques and cash.
Guyren David Frame, 56, was granted bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Frame is accused of defrauding Gratory Pty Ltd, which trades as businesses, including the Eagle Hawk Holiday Park and the Eagle Hawk Hotel in Sutton, between 2016 and 2019.
Police documents state Frame was working as a business banker for St George when he began driving the alleged victim to the bank and post office.
The alleged victim was the director of the company, and his health began to visibly decline in early 2016, police claim.
The director's son believed his father was struggling to run his business. He began to arrange direct debits to suppliers and vendors and check on the Eagle Hawk Hotel after hours.
At the same time in early 2016, Frame, who the family had met through business dealings, began "spending an increasing amount of time with [the alleged victim]", documents said.
Frame allegedly told the son he was helping "as a means of managing tension between [the other man] and his children".
In 2018, the alleged victim was diagnosed with vascular dementia. His children were granted enduring power of attorney.
Police said when they interviewed the alleged victim on April 7, 2021, he made comments to the effect that he never issued Frame a cheque as Frame had never worked for him.
"The content of the conversation is largely incoherent and (though outside of the timeframe of [alleged] offending) shows [he] was at a state of significant cognitive decline," police documents state.
Frame is accused of directing or facilitating cheques to be withdrawn from two separate bank accounts the alleged victim used to operate his business.
Police documents state Frame did not provide services that would "result in him having a legitimate reason to receive or benefit from those funds".
Frame is accused of taking $4,174,891.34 from the alleged victim.
Police said the money deposited into Frame's bank accounts matched those withdrawn from his alleged victim's accounts.
On 46 of the days when cash withdrawals were made from the business accounts, there was also a cash deposit into Frame's bank accounts, police said.
Police also said when Frame was overseas, there were no cash withdrawals or unaccounted for cheques from the two business accounts.
The documents also allege Frame bet $18.64 million between May 1, 2016 and September 30, 2019.
He is accused of making 20,744 bets in that time through a Tabcorp account.
Between those dates, $5.3 million was allegedly directly deposited into that betting account.
Police said Frame made an average of nearly 17 bets a day during that time period and recorded a net loss of $3.62 million.
In court on Saturday, Frame was granted bail, which was not opposed by the prosecutor.
Frame has been ordered to stay at least 100 metres away from Eagle Hawk Hotel, the alleged victim and his family.
Magistrate Ken Archer did not read out all 183 charges on Saturday but indicated they would be formally read to Frame at a later date.
The 56-year-old was joined in court by his wife and one of his adult sons.
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He was ordered to surrender his passport but is allowed to travel within Australia.
The court heard Frame planned to visit a brother in Tasmania, who was terminally ill with cancer and only had months to live.
Mr Archer said while bail was appropriate in the circumstances, documents tendered to the court "outline a very serious series of offences".
"The allegations are very, very serious indeed," he said.
Frame was charged with multiple counts of obtaining property by deception, two counts of attempting to obtain property by deception, conducting a transaction to avoid threshold reporting requirements and money laundering.
He did not enter a plea, meaning he did not plead guilty or non-guilty.
Frame is expected to next attend court on December 11.
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