CQ man #charged with #fraud after #alleged $5M #business #scam

A CENTRAL Queensland man is accused of conning investors out of more than $5 million, charged with 40 counts of fraud.

The 38-year-old former Rockhampton man was charged with multiple counts of fraud after an 11-month police investigation.

The victims were mostly from the Central Queensland area and, according to police, invested life savings, superannuation or redundancy payments in the scheme.

Officers from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group of the Capricornia District started ‘Operation Papa Arches’ after complaints about a business known as the ‘Investment Café’.

The business offered financial returns through investment in shares managed in a Forex Trading Platform.

Police allege the Investment Café was never a registered business.

Although some funds were invested, police also allege the man converted more than $5 million of invested money for his personal benefit.

It is further alleged he used false statements to deceive investors.

The man was found near Emerald in February, after an extensive investigation with public assistance.

He was initially charged with two counts of fraud and remained in police custody.

On Friday, police charged the man with another 38 fraud offences relating to the investment business.

The 38-year-old man is in custody and due to reappear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on May 10.

“There are 40 victims in this fraud largely from the Capricornia area,” Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.

“These victims entrusted the offender with their life savings, superannuation or redundancy payments, in the belief their funds were being properly managed.

“We recommend investors seek out independent financial advice, and make sure they are comfortable with and in control of the investment decisions.”

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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