Two Gold Coast men and a woman have been charged with a string of offences by the Crime and Corruption Commission following an 18-month investigation into a Brisbane-based law firm.
The major crime investigation, codenamed Operation Mercury, saw raids executed at two law firms and a number of businesses and homes in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The three Gold Coasters were among four people charged yesterday, with the CCC alleging they were all involved in serious fraud offences against a number of financial institutions.
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“It will also be alleged those charged yesterday laundered the proceeds of serious criminal offences,” the CCC said in a statement.
A 45-year-old man from Helensvale has been issued with a Notice to Appear in court to face five counts of aggravated fraud, 89 counts of fraud, seven counts of fraudulent falsification of records and six counts of money laundering.
The CCC said the man is currently before the courts for a separate count of money laundering relating to the seizure of $97,000 in cash on 24 February.
A 37-year-old Helensvale woman has been served with a Notice to Appear on one count of aggravated fraud, 76 counts of fraud, three counts of fraudulent falsification of records and three counts of money laundering.
A 36-year-old Helensvale man has also been served with a Notice to Appear in court to face 12 counts of fraud, two counts of fraudulent falsification of records, one count of money laundering and one count of perjury.
While a 42-year-old Ascot man has been served with a Notice to Appear for six counts of aggravated fraud, 77 counts of fraud, seven counts of fraudulent falsification of records and seven counts of money laundering.
“This man was previously charged in relation to one count of money laundering relating to the seizure of $97,000 in cash on 24 February 2020 and was also charged in September 2020 with 12 counts of supplying a dangerous drug,” the CCC said.
All four people charged yesterday are expected to appear before the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 11 January 2021.
CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran said the scale of the alleged offending identified during the operation demonstrates why the corruption watchdog has a continued focus on the enablers of major and organised crime.
“The CCC has an investigative focus on not just those who directly engage in major crime, but those individuals and groups of people who facilitate and enable it,” Mr MacSporran said.
“Sophisticated business models, specialised systems and expertise are needed for organised crime groups to operate effectively. It is disappointing and concerning some of the allegations relate to the legal profession.
“The CCC will continue to direct its efforts on the systems and expertise that enable criminal networks to build and thrive by targeting those that enable and support serious criminal offending, and to make Queensland a hostile place to engage in crime for profit and to accumulate criminal wealth.”
The CCC said further charges related to Operation Mercury are expected.