Sydney-based Forum Group is continuing business as usual despite being at the centre of an alleged $400 million fraud against Westpac.
Following an emergency sale of the business to Bill Papas’ cousin, Eric Constantinidis, the company has sent six emails to prospective clients in the past two weeks in an effort to drum up business.
The most recent email, sent last Friday, was obtained by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. It says: “I’d love to have one of our office solution experts come out to see you and talk about the challenges your business is facing and the ways in which Forum can help make your business better. Do you have a spare 30 minutes in the next week or so to have a chat about upgrading your office? Look forward to hearing from you.”
Now-removed blog articles had been published on the Forum Group website as well as a glowing customer review from Aston Advantage managing director Chantel Haskett.
Mr Papas was expected to return to Australia to face courts, however is in Greece. His lawyer, Barrister Jim Johnson, told the Federal Court that Mr Papas had contracted COVID-19 and hence could not fly back to Sydney from Athens via Dubai on 10 July as had been planned.
McGrathNicol have been appointed liquidators to the group, and have managed to interview Mr Papas and his business partner Vince Tesoriero.
Crashed racing car
Footage of Forum Finance co-owner, race-car enthusiast Mr Tesoriero, crashing a $500,000 race car at the Australian GT Phillip Island in 2018, adding salt to the wound of investors who unknowingly funded the alleged fraudsters’ purchase of a $50 million property portfolio using Wesptac’s money.
The bank commenced civil proceedings to recover funds allegedly lost through fraud, however Mer Tesoriero’s lawyer has previously told the Court his client had tendered his resignation from the company in April last year.
Mr Papas has extensive international assets, including Greek seaside properties, a Greek football team and Audi racecars.He owns Xanthi FC and was president of Sydney Olympic FC until early July.