A Sydney, Australia finance manager for electronic payment service company epay has been arrested in Los Angeles and returned to Sydney under police escort to face 9 charges of fraud involving A$7 million, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The arrest of Jason Graham Boatwright (38) was the culmination of three years of investigations carried out in a joint FBI, US Secret Service and NSW Police operation…and enquiries are also being made into a similar UK case that took place whilst Boatwright was working for Red Bull.
Court documents disclose that in the Australian case it is alleged that at least A$5 million of the money stolen from epay in 2011 was spent at online betting site Centrebet, which has assisted police in their investigations.
Boatwright is currently in custody, having been refused bail; his trial will commence later this (January) month.
It is alleged that Boatwright was put in charge of epay’s financial department in February 2011 and within days started defrauding the company by writing three company cheques to the value of $138,475.
He then deposited the cheques into his personal bank account without detection. Perhaps encouraged by this success, he is then alleged to have transferred a further A$9,865 through the company’s payroll system straight into his bank account.
However, this was just the start of his dishonest conduct; he went on to initiate five fraudulent electronic transfers to his personal bank account totalling $7,120,769, disguising these transactions as payments to company suppliers.
Following the money trail, investigators discovered that A$5 million of the stolen money went from Boatwright’s account to the Australian online betting company Centrebet in 86 debit card transactions, and between June and November 2011 Boatwright gambled the money away.
Investigators claim that Boatwright then transferred A$300,000 from his Australian bank to Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas before taking a flight from Australia the following day. On arrival in Las Vegas he made six further withdrawals totalling A$310,000 from his Australian bank account – all from the Venetian.
Three years later the police finally caught up with Boatwright after an extensive multi-agency investigation that resulted in his arrest and return to Australian to face the consequences of his actions.