Rural Crime Investigators charge man over hay fraud targeting farmers

A man has been charged by NSW Police Rural Crime Investigators over an alleged scam targeting farmers from drought-stricken communities across NSW.

Earlier this week, police became aware of posts on social media advertising hay bales for a discounted price. The seller then requested an initial deposit for the fodder, but allegedly did not deliver any product.

Police received reports from victims on the Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands, Hills District, and the Oxley, Nepean, and Port Stephens areas.

NSW Police Force Rural Crime Investigators established Strike Force Woden to investigate the scam.

About 7.40am today (Thursday 23 January 2020), Strike Force Woden investigators, assisted by Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squad, executed a search warrant at Villawood.

A 27-year-old man was arrested at the property and taken to Fairfield Police Station, where he was charged with 13 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

Police will allege in court that the man fraudulently obtained more than $40,000 from 13 victims.

Officers also executed two outstanding warrants for fraud offences, and a third outstanding warrant for assault offences.

He has been refused bail to appear at Fairfield Local Court tomorrow (Friday 24 January 2020).

Inquiries are continuing.

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