It was between 2007 and 2013 when known racing identity Bill Vlahos took advantage of 1,800 investors in 61 syndicates over the promise of secure winnings on the racetrack.
Promising success through a secret mathematical betting system, Vlahos convinced punters to trust their hard earnings in him and his club named ‘The Edge’.
There were in total 347 charges for deception, out of which Vlahos only pleaded to two counts. Out of those a single investor had transferred him up to $1.2 million directly.
Overall, Vlahos’ Ponzi scheme robbed investors off the exorbitant amount of $17,520,224.
The money, instead of being placed on the racetrack was ‘invested’ on first-class flights, two luxury cars, home renovations and a whip belonging to the champion racehorse Black Caviar, worth $47,000. Vlahos, who has been diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder could not control his urges.
County Court Judge Douglas Trapnell ruled Vlahos nine years in jail eligible for parole in just over four years counting time already served.
“Through your pernicious greed and insatiable desire for personal affirmation, you destroyed the lives and financial security of your family, friends and associates,” Judge Trapnell said.
“It is clear you must have known the impact you’ve had … yet you continued your deceptive scheme, unrelenting and unrepentant. The audaciousness of your behaviour is breathtaking.”
Clearing his wife of any implication, as she too appears to not have known her husband’s dealings the judge told Vlahos: “You abused the trust of many, including family members and friends. You were the sole architect and controller of the fraudulent scheme”.