Wed, Nov 23, 11:37am by Staff Writer
The man accused of orchestrating a $129 million fraud involving a high-profile punters club has fronted a Melbourne court charged with 374 offences.
Bill Vlahos fronted Magistrate Phillip Goldberg on Wednesday after police charged him earlier this month over the collapse of the punters club called The Edge. He was bailed to appear again on March 2, 2017.
Police allege the $129 million dollars was fraudulently obtained between 2008 and 2013.
At its peak, The Edge reportedly had over 1500 members, some of whom lost over $1 million when it collapsed in December 2013.
Vlahos headed the club, but allegedly claimed a businessman called Daniel Maxwell was placing the bets with betting syndicate members sent documents every week telling them what bets had been made.
It was later found that Maxwell did not exist and that the 25 per cent annual returns which the club promised where never going to be realised.
It prompted a long investigation by Victorian police who have reportedly collected over 1 million documents in compiling their case.
The collapse of The Edge was felt across the racing and sporting industry, with several high profile sporting personalities said to be involved.
It also ended Vlahos’ short-lived BC3 thoroughbred syndication business, which has $194 million disappear from one of its accounts in 2013, prompting Vlahos’ resignation.
BC3 was infamously the successful bidder on $5 million thoroughbred Jimmy, the half brother to unbeaten champion Black Caviar.
‘Jimmy’ was euthanized in December 2013 after complications from a spider bite shortly after the collapse of Vlahos’ business interests. His death precipitated a court case to decide who would receive the insurance payout for the horse.
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