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FCPA Blog Daily News

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Thursday
Jun192014

Poker champ charged in $100 million bank fraud

William Jordanou, courtesy of Poker Network via YouTubeProfessional poker player Bill Jordanou of Australia faces 142 criminal counts related to an alleged decade-long $100 million bank fraud.

Prosecutors in the Melbourne Magistrates Court said the fraud targeted more than a dozen lenders.

Jordanou, who also acts as a financial adviser, was assisting  an accounting firm when he and his business partner, accountant Robert Zaia, allegedly siphoned tens of millions of dollars from client accounts.

Prosecutors said the scheme involved fraudulent loans and fake investments in property development projects. 

Jordanou and Zaia are accused of forging personal documents from investors that included tax and bank statements. The defendants then allegedly used the documents to obtain loans from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in their clients' names.

For more than a decade, prosecutors said, Jordanou and Zaia, with help from several bank employees, took bogus loans and car leases.

Jordanou, 55, has professional poker winnings of more than $500,000.

He reportedly used the proceeds of the alleged fraud to fund gambling trips to Macau and Las Vegas, luxury cars, boats, a jet-ski, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia alerted police when an employee reviewing one of the loans became concerned that a particular development had not advanced as promised, prior to the handing over of finance.

The bank then reviewed other loans and discovered applications that had been lodged on behalf of clients supported by false documents. 

Jordanou and Zaia will return to court on September 17.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.