Australian Conman Extradited Over Alleged Fraud Involving $1.2M in Bitcoin
After a dramatic arrest, an Australian serial conman has been extradited to New South Wales to face fraud charges involving over $1 million in bitcoin.
- A Tuesday report by The Sydney Morning Herald said Peter Foster had been escorted by detectives to Sydney, NSW, from Queensland where he had been arrested Thursday.
- Foster was tackled by undercover police pretending to be early morning joggers on a Port Douglas beach in the northern state.
- After an investigation that kicked off in June, police alleged that from April last year Foster masqueraded under the false name Bill Dawson and scammed victim Konstantinos Stylianopoulos.
- Stylianopoulos had entrusted bitcoin to Foster, who then allegedly transferred it to his own account at the Australia-based crypto exchange Independent Reserve.
- The fraud netted Foster 1.73 million Australian dollars (US$1.24 million) worth of bitcoin in transactions of between $125,000 and $890,000 on multiple occasions.
- Foster has been described as a career criminal, having previously spent time in jail in Australia, the U.K., the U.S., and Vanuatu for fraud-related crimes.
- Paul Dunstan, the Sydney City Police area commander detective acting superintendent, noted Foster's repeat offenses and said Foster was "a significant fraud offender."
- The charges relating to his arrest include five counts of publishing false and misleading material to obtain advantage and 10 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
- He is also being charged with knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime with intent to conceal, according to the Herald.
- On Tuesday, Foster's legal representation appeared in Sydney's Central Local Court via video link opting not to apply for bail. The case will return to court on Oct. 22.
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Sebastian Sinclair is the market and news reporter for CoinDesk operating in the South East Asia timezone. He has experience trading in the cryptocurrency markets, providing technical analysis and covering news developments affecting the movements on bitcoin and the industry as a whole. He currently holds no cryptocurrencies.