Three Victoria Men Charged over Training Fraud 2

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
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Three men have been charged over a major fraud scheme believed to have taken millions from individuals and government agencies.

Following a year-long joint investigation with Australia Post, the federal police arrested two co-directors of a Melbourne training providers and an associate.

It’s alleged all three have been falsely enrolling international and domestic students, creating fraudulent documents and then having them work as contractors for labour-hire businesses they owned, the Department of Immigration said in a statement.

Instead of attending tuition, they worked as delivery drivers for Australia Post.

Operation Aristotle, coordinated by the AFP, the Australian Border Force and the Australian Skills Quality Authority, also seized $8.5 million worth of assets, alleged to have been derived from the proceeds of crime.

They include bank accounts, a 2014 Ferrari and six properties in the suburbs of Balwyn, Lalor, Epping, Preston and Tarneit.

Police also seized a 2015 Range Rover, expensive watches, jewellery and $180,000 worth of cash.

The investigation began after information was received about the validity of national police check certificates.

Following enquiries, police established they were false and identified a 34-year-old Balwyn man and a 37-year-old Epping man.

Both are co-directors of a registered training provider.

Thirty search warrants were executed resulting in the arrest of both men, as well as a 42-year-old Tarneit man, the director of a second provider.

It’s estimated they’ve charged more than $9 million in fees from international students as well as fraudulently pocketing about $2 million in government funding.

“In this case, the men involved have created an elaborate plan and defrauded millions of dollars in government funding and from students in vulnerable circumstances,” AFP Manager of Crime Operations Paul Osborne said.

The department said enquires are continuing and further charges have not been ruled out.

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  1. Damien

    these training rorts and other immigration scams have been going on forever. why are the authorities so slow to investigate?.

    • George

      As with changes this covers a lot from the Acts & Regulations implemented up dates to changes made. Yes progress in this area was needed but rorts slowly flowed in with dirty operators setting up only for selfish gain. However ASQA should never be under rated they scrutinize every RTO and they will put a stop to any who fail their audit system, yes there is too many RTO's out there many that see an opportunity for wrongful gain. While the legitimate honest operators really see the need to provide essential training for the construction industry suffers and is swallowed up with the potential of loss earnings of future funding and resources. An invisible blanket hides transparency hopefully not for long.