NSW Police ready to pounce on Forum Finance

NSW Police have fast tracked their investigation into colourful soccer identity Bill Papas and his Forum Finance and could soon lay charges in relation to the alleged $400 million fraud against Westpac and other lenders.

Bill Papas and the Sydney company he founded, Forum Finance, have been accused of facilitating a fraud worth at least $400 million, by falsifying documents and forging signatures to illegally obtain loans from Westpac, Societe General and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking of Japan.Credit:

Mr Papas and the Sydney company he founded, Forum Finance, have been accused of facilitating a fraud worth at least $400 million, by falsifying documents and forging signatures to illegally obtain loans from Westpac, Societe General and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking of Japan.

Mr Papas has failed to return to Australia despite initially saying he would return, first saying he had the coronavirus and then saying he needed money for his living expenses and paid-up return tickets to Greece before he could come home.

NSW Police recently elevated the case to its Financial Crimes Squad, operating under the NSW Crime Command function.

Detectives from the squad have already received reams of information from Westpac and other lenders embroiled in the scandal.

NSW Police declined to comment on the specifics of their investigation this morning when contacted by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald or whether they were planning any arrests in the near future.

But the force released an updated statement regarding its investigations on Monday morning.

“In July this year, police received a report of an alleged multi-million-dollar fraud against a financial organisation,” NSW Police said.

“Initial inquiries were conducted by North Shore Police Area Command before the matter was referred to the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad.”

“Inquiries are continuing and no further information is available at this time.”

An investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed the extensive $60 million property portfolio purchased by Mr Papas is subject to global freezing orders sought by Westpac while it conducts its own internal investigation.

A trove of documents obtained by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald also revealed the extensive overseas assets and high-end vehicles, including two racing Audis, that were purchased by Mr Papas and his companies.

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