In documents filed in an Australian court, one-time Greek business partner of Bill Papas Anastasios Giamouridis has denied any role in the alleged $500m fraud against banking institutions.
In the case before the Federal Court, Westpac and two other banks allege that Forum Founder Bill Papas and his fellow Forum director Vincenzo Tesoriero had orchestrated a lease contract fraud scheme through the issuing of fake invoices.
According to the allegations, Papas’ former fellow football director of Xanthi FC and business associate Anastasios Giamouridis had also received funds from the scheme.
But as reported by The Australian, Mr Giamouridis stated he “did not know of, nor participated in” a defrauding scheme.
The allegedly fraudulent equipment finance invoices issued by Forum referred to equipment that often didn’t exist with the bank claiming that Mr Papas had used some of the funds for his waste disposal business Iugis, which he was reportedly planning to grow into a $1bn business, focused on food digestion machines.
Westpac had previously claimed that Mr Giamouridis received around $10.7m from Mr Papas’ company between June 2019 and December 2020 and that Mr Papas had funnelled money to Greece in purchases of property, companies and a football team.
The bank alleges Mr Giamouridis was paid to make thousands of waste digestion machines on behalf of Mr Papas.
In the documents filed in court, Mr Giamouridis’ lawyers wrote:
“The funds were used to acquire assets, namely prototypes for food digesters and food digests, but not to acquire the jointly owned real property nor the Tesoriero real property.
“(Mr Giamouridis) denies receiving payments from (Forum Group) which he had no legitimate basis to receive.”
Mr Giamouridis’ defence also stated he had “no notice that the funds were fraudulently obtained … nor that the funds
were infected with any wrongdoing”.