A NEW Zealand man has been arrested and charged with 21 counts of fraud following a protracted three-year investigation into a million-dollar boiler-room type scam operating out of the Gold Coast.
The 48-year-old is accused of defrauding $1.2 million from 21 victims across Australia and overseas through a fraudulent business set up on the Gold Coast in late 2013.
The business was set-up under the trading name of ‘Freedom Connect’ and later changed to ‘Leading Edge Strategic Group’, which continued operating until September 2015.
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Police allege the man used the victims’ money to fund a lavish lifestyle on the Gold Coast, including leasing luxury properties, purchasing vehicles and acquiring trips overseas.
Detectives began to investigate the 48-year-old man after a 71-year-old Birtinya man reported being cheated of $78,000 in October 2014.
He was arrested in Christchurch on September 1 by virtue of a Queensland arrest warrant, with extradition to Queensland subsequently approved.
The man is expected to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court tomorrow on Friday afternoon, November 23, charged with 21 counts of fraud.
Anyone who may have used the above companies, and hasn’t already spoken to police, is asked to contact Policelink or Crime Stoppers.
You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.