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Author: Don Obrien

Liquidators dig deeper into Forum Finance woes


https://www.arnnet.com.au/

Credit: Dreamstime

Liquidators appointed to Forum Finance and its related entities have uncovered further details of the extent of the alleged financial fraud undertaken by its owner, Bill Papas, suggesting it might have dated as far back as 2013, with the alleged fraudulent contracts in excess of $500 million. 

The Forum saga began to unravel in May following a discovery by Westpac of a significant potential fraud of more than $250 million involving allegations of forged customer invoices involving managed print services and computer leasing equipment along with environmental services, to obtain bank loans.

Sydney-based managed services provider Forum Group and associated company Forum Finance are just two of the many businesses owned by Basile Papadimitriou – a.k.a Bill Papas – who is reported to have fled to Greece following Westpac’s investigation and subsequent civil proceedings.

Jason Preston and Jason Ireland of McGrath Nicol were appointed as provisional liquidators on 15 July by the Federal Court.

In a detailed report lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the liquidators poured over 110,000 transactions across 150 bank accounts held by Forum Finance, Forum Group Financial Services (FGFS) and related entities, persons and beneficiaries. While the investigation focused on the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021, the liquidators also discovered materials dating as far back to 2013. 





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