Charges by Sunshine Coast detectives into alleged million dollar fraud

Sunshine Coast detectives are currently in Christchurch extraditing a 48-year-old New Zealand man following a three year investigation into an alleged million-dollar fraud, Queensland Police say.

The investigation was launched by the Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch after a 71-year-old Birtinya man reported the loss of $78,000 in October 2014.

During the course of the three year investigation police located a total of 21 victims, from both Australia (Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia) and overseas and will allege the sophisticated fraud cost victims a total of 1.2 million dollars.

Police will allege a fraudulent business, where people were encouraged to deposit large sums of money in return for investments in a boiler room type scam, was established on the Gold Coast in late 2013.

The alleged fraudulent business was set-up under the trading name of ‘Freedom Connect’ and later changed to ‘Leading Edge Strategic Group’, which continued operating until September 2015.

Police will allege the funds were used to fund a lavish Gold Coast lifestyle involving the leasing of luxury properties, purchasing vehicles and overseas holidays.

A 48-year-old man was arrested in Christchurch on September 1 by virtue of a Queensland arrest warrant, with extradition to Queensland subsequently approved.

The man is expected to appear in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court tomorrow afternoon, Friday November 23, charged with 21 counts of fraud.

Anyone who may have used the above companies, and hasn’t already spoken to police, is asked to contact Policelink or Crime Stoppers.

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