An alleged $30 million investment fraud syndicate that preyed on 2,000 victims across Australia has been shut down, Queensland police have said
The two-year operation by the State Crime Command culminated today in raids on homes and businesses on the Gold Coast and one residence and business in Brisbane.
Four men aged in their 30s and 40s, and a 41-year-old woman have been arrested and charged.
Police allege they were ‘principal players’ behind the three-year scam, which involved cold calling people with high pressure sales tactics and offering them huge returns on share market investments, or being involved in the laundering of victims’ money.
It was supported by bogus websites containing fake information about the product and companies.
Acting Detective Superintendent Peter Brewer said it had been a complex and protracted joint-agency investigation.
Assistance was also provided by officers from the Australian Taxation Office, Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
“We believe more than $30 million over a three-year period was extracted from victims across Australia,” Acting Detective Superintendent Brewer said.
Police said company names used by the syndicate included ESL, Eurosoft, OWS, OW Sydney, One Wealth, GTA, GlobalTech, GTA Australia, GT Australia, GT Alliance, TRP, TRP Solutions, Thorne Roberts Price and Thomson Rowe Partners.
Acting Detective Superintendent Brewer said it was believed there might be more victims and had urged people to contact police.
“These types of scams are often very professional and convincing,” he said.
“If you find yourself being cold called or being pressured to financially commit, this should ring alarm bells and we highly recommend hanging up and having no further contact with those involved.
“Even if a person holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, we recommend seeking independent financial advice before committing to anything.”