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Australian Conman Extradited Over Alleged Fraud Involving $1.2M in Bitcoin

An Australian serial conman has been extradited to New South Wales to face fraud charges involving over $1 million in bitcoin.

Aug 25, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:47 a.m. UTC

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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