Perth fraudster charged for taking more than $2m from victim

by Ethan Anderson Last Updated
Perth fraudster charged for taking more than $2m from victim

A Perth fraudster has been charged after taking more than $2.6 million from a fellow worshipper he knew through a religious congregation.

ABC reports that Munir Muzafar Fakhrud Hassanali was arrested by Financial Crimes Squad detectives in Perth on December 19, following an investigation into his unexplained wealth.

It would be alleged that between June 2017 and November 2019, Mr Hassanali repeatedly borrowed amounts of money from the victim under false pretences.

The 38-year-old managed to secure loans ranging from $1,000 to $200,000 and according to police, was given the funds based on fraudulent paperwork for proposed business opportunities that did not exist.

Of the near $2.6 million he is accused of taking, he has repaid just $41,000 to the victim to date.

Allegations that fraudulent funds were funnelled into casino gambling

Police alleged Mr Hassanali used that money to attend a casino on a regular basis and had lost all of it through gambling.

A West Australian police spokesperson said the victim had been left in serious financial trouble.

“The victim trusted the financial arrangements he was entering into were legitimate, and made that assessment based on material presented to him that turned out to be fraudulent, the spokesperson said.

“He and his wife have now lost their savings, which they were going to rely on in their retirement.”

“Based on information obtained during the investigation, we are continuing to investigate whether other people may have been approached in similar circumstances.

“We encourage anyone who believes they may be the victim of fraudulent loan arrangements to contact the police and provide details so we can investigate,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Hassanali was charged with 88 counts of fraud.

He appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court last week, where he was refused bail.

The 38-year-old is due to next appear in court in January.

WA man stole from friends; jailed for six-and-a-half years

A Perth gambling addict has defrauded friends out of more than $1 million by encouraging them to invest in his sham business of exporting baby formula to China.

The Senior reported in November that Malaysian-born Alan Chee Yong Tan, 36, pleaded guilty to 30 fraud charges involving 13 victims who were acquaintances and friends he met through church, work and school.

He has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Yong registered a business in 2016 and convinced each victim he would purchase the baby formula for about $19 per tin in New Zealand and sell it in China, where there was an “endless demand” for $25 per tin.

He also induced a retiree to invest in the export of fish oil from Fremantle to China, the West Australian District Court heard.

The victims signed written contracted Yong had prepared and he also forged documents, including a shipping manifest, bank statements and Australian Taxation Office forms.

The signature and seat of notaries public were also forged in contracts, the court heard.

In 2016, Yong spent at least 355 hours gambling at Crown Casino, paid $1.7 as buy-ins and made a net loss of $686,447.

Judge Belinda Lonsdale said Yong’s scheme was a complete shame, but she accepted the father of one was devastated at the shame he had brought upon his family and friends.

“Your offending was extremely sophisticated and involved a high degree of planning, research, effort and deception in order to fool your victims into believing you were running a legitimate business,” she said.

“None of them should feel embarrassed at being duped by you because you really did go to extraordinary lengths to make your operation seem legitimate, and even intelligent and sophisticated people could easily have been fooled by you.”

The court heard after Yong was arrested, he breached the terms of his bail and again attempted to lure somebody into his scam.

Judge Lonsdale ordered Yong to pay compensation to his victims, including one who lost almost $250,000.

Yong will be eligible for parole after serving four-and-a-half years behind bars and as a permanent resident of Australia, faces the possibility of deportation.

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