A Greek Australian man who conned a girlfriend and her mother out of their $1.14 million life savings was described as “callous and predatory” at a court hearing on Monday.
According to Herald Sun reports, Prosecutor Darrin Cain said George Bavelos had perpetuated a grandiose fraud that left his victims devastated, and had shown no remorse. Bavelos, 52, swindled Broadford schoolteacher Helen Biamis and her retired hairdresser mother, Triana Boubis, with an elaborate scam and promises he would invest their savings.
Mr Cain told the County Court that Bavelos’ crimes were made worse by his claim, during his trial, that he had $1 million deposited in a European bank account and $1.5 million in a trading company.
“The lie rubbed salt into their (the victims’) wounds by giving them false hope,” he said.
“He was particularly callous and predatory towards the two victims.” Mr Cain said Bavelos spent his swindled funds on high living and luxury items, and Ms Biamis and Ms Boubis would probably never see a cent of their money.
Bavelos’s trial heard he claimed to be a fabulously wealthy international investment banker with a jet-setting lifestyle and offices in European capitals.
The cruel conman told Ms Biamis he owned the property Coonac in Toorak; but a gardener informed her it was owned by transport magnate Paul Little.
Defence lawyer Paul Marin said his client was a father of one who lived with his parents in Campbellfield, had been unemployed for eight years, and had several convictions, dating back to 1990, for obtaining property and financial advantage by deception, theft, and forgery.
One set of convictions was for swindling his then parents-in-law out of $50,000 and spending it on himself. At his trial, he could not explain why Centrelink documents showed he had been receiving the Newstart allowance for five years.
In December, Bavelos was found guilty by a jury of nine counts of obtaining property by deception and one count of attempting to obtain property by deception.
Mr Cain said Bavelos should be sentenced as a “continuing criminal enterprise offender”, and should go to jail for between six and seven years. Judge Michael McInerney will sentence Bavelos on Monday, February 28.