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Syndicate dismantled following investigation into identity theft and bank fraud

Friday, 05 August 2022 09:38:52 AM

Financial Crimes Squad detectives have charged four people and dismantled a criminal syndicate allegedly involved in multiple identity and banking frauds totalling more than $1 million.

In August 2021, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad established Strike Force Bayard to investigate numerous fraudulent transactions and payments across Sydney.

Police will allege in court the syndicate created a number of shell companies to assist with obtaining cheque books, EFTPOS terminals, and the creation of banking profiles which were then used to procure fraudulent funds.

Further, the fraudulently obtained funds were then used to withdraw cash, purchase clothing, motor vehicles, and jewellery, and pay for day-to-day expenses.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed four search warrants at Bankstown, Pyrmont, and Sydney’s CBD from 5am yesterday (Thursday 5 August 2022).

During the warrants, police located and seized around $130,000 cash, $5,000 USD currency, numerous EFTPOS terminals, luxury jewellery and clothing, a Mercedes Benz C200, and electronic devices.

All seized items will undergo further forensic examination.

A 33-year-old man – who is allegedly the syndicate leader – and a 42-year-old woman, were both arrested at a unit in Bankstown and taken to Bankstown Police Station.

The man was charged with 52 offences, including 39 counts of deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, 11 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, deal with property proceeds of crime more than $100,000, and knowingly direct activities of criminal group.

The woman was charged with two counts of deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, two counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, deal with property proceeds of crime more than $100,000, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

Both were refused bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court today (Friday 5 August 2022).

Additionally, two men – aged 29 and 39 – were arrested at units in Pyrmont and Haymarket and taken to local police stations.

The younger man was charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, publish false misleading material to obtain property, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

The older man was charged with participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, two counts of deal with identity info to commit indictable offence, and dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

Both were refused bail and appeared at Downing Centre Local Court yesterday, where they were formally refused bail to appear at the same court on Thursday 18 August 2022.

Investigations under Strike Force Bayard continue.

Anyone with information about fraud or financial crime is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.