A court has heard about the unconventional way alleged conman Peter Foster was investigated for an alleged $2 million Bitcoin scam.
A court has heard about the unconventional way alleged conman Peter Foster was investigated for an alleged $2 million Bitcoin scam.

Odd way alleged conman’s ‘fraud’ was found

The lawyer for prolific conman Peter Foster says the alleged victim of a $2 million Bitcoin fraud has not been interviewed by police.

Instead, solicitor Angelo Bilias told a court on Thursday, the Hong Kong man gave a statement to a private investigator who took on Mr Foster for reasons of his own.

Mr Foster's dramatic arrest in Queensland last year - which involved him being crash-tackled by officers on a Port Douglas beach - was broadcast on 60 Minutes.

The 58-year-old, who has previously been convicted of fraud offences, has been in custody since, abandoning a bail application last month.

The Crown will allege he extracted more than $2 million AUD from a Hong Kong man through an online sports betting scam, Central Local Court heard on Thursday.

Mr Foster’s dramatic arrest in Queensland last year involved him being crash-tackled by officers on a Port Douglas beach. Picture: IFW Global
Mr Foster’s dramatic arrest in Queensland last year involved him being crash-tackled by officers on a Port Douglas beach. Picture: IFW Global

Prosecutor Eric Navea, who said he was handed the case three weeks ago after another lawyer fell ill, asked for more time to finalise the charges against Mr Foster.

Mr Navea said there were "significant deficiencies" in the police brief of evidence that had gone unnoticed until he took over.

These included the lack of a forensic accountant report and reports from relevant sports betting agencies, he said.

Mr Navea also said jurisdiction was an issue, noting the alleged victim lives in Hong Kong, Mr Foster was arrested in Queensland, and the cryptocurrency allegedly used to gain financial advantage was converted into Australian dollars in Sydney.

Mr Foster's solicitor Angelo Bilias opposed the extension, saying it remained a problem that the prosecution case relied on an investigation done by a private investigator, not the police.

"It's a private investigator who has investigated this," he said.

"And it's a private investigator with his own motives who has taken a statement, who has conducted the majority of this investigation."

But the extension was granted by Magistrate Clare Farnan, who noted it was a "complex" prosecution and the brief appeared to be receiving attention "at this point in time".

Mr Foster, who is in prison on remand, did not appear in court.

The matter is next in court on March 25.

Originally published as Odd way alleged conman's 'fraud' found


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