Aussie Developer on Trial in Bali for Fraud

Thursday, March 31st, 2016
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A man allegedly defrauded by a West Australian property developer in Bali has told his trial it became clear the Australian had “deceived” him and had “no intention” of giving back any money.

Eric Bevan Gillet, 48, was arrested in Bali last month after a property deal he struck with two businessmen allegedly went sour.

It is alleged the former president of the South Perth Chamber of Commerce, through “tricks and a series of lies”, incited two men – Tommy Comerford and Ketut Semadi – to buy 10 villas in his Xanadu Lifestyle Resort complex at the popular beachside town of Seminyak.

Prosecutors say the deal was brokered in October 2013 with the businessmen handing over a total of 6.7 billion rupiah (about A$659,455) to Gillet.

But after the sale, Mr Comerford, who works for mining exploration company PT Parts Sentra Indomandiri, said he became concerned when Gillet told him for the second time that designs for the villas had changed.

“After that, I thought I need to see the document because in my understanding, when the design is changed, then the development licence must be changed too. But up to then, I had never been shown the whole document,” he told Gillet’s trial at Denpasar District Court.

When this and a contract letter for the land did not surface, Tommy said he asked for his money back.

The mining company’s director, Mr Semadi told the court that when he and Mr Comerford tried to extricate themselves from the deal, they agreed to let Gillet have 10 per cent of the money they had put down.

But still the balance was not forthcoming.

“(At that point) I saw that there’s no good intention from him to give back the money. If he gives back the money, I will let the defendant go…. But I was deceived and so, I asked for this legal process.”

Gillet, who is is being held in Indonesia’s notorious Kerobokan prison, has been charged with fraud and embezzlement, which carry a maximum jail term of four years each.

The matter will return to court at a later date.

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