Beneficiary rides the fast lane - on the bank

Last updated 17:10 14/12/2012

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It's called the ''Complete Freedom account'', but Australia's St George Bank probably didn't have in mind the same kind of latitude as Luke Brett Moore.

The unemployed 25-year-old allegedly defrauded the financial institution to the tune of more than A$2.1 million (NZ$2.7m) over 18 months, simply by overdrawing his account.

According to police documents seen by Fairfax Media, Moore set up the Complete Freedom account in March 2010.

It was established with the proviso that a relationship officer would oversee transactions, police allege.

However, it seems that never occurred, and Moore allegedly took full advantage. Police claim he overdrew the account on 48 separate occasions, netting him A$2,189,000 which he spent between early 2010 and July 13 this year.

In that time, he allegedly made some impressive purchases to show off around Goulburn in New South Wales.

A Maserati, an Alfa Romeo, a new Stessl Sea Hawk boat and trailer, a 2012 Hyundai Veloster and a car key for an Aston Martin DB7.

He also had a framed Michael Jordan shirt, signed photos of Kylie Minogue, an autographed Michael Jackson picture, and a signed picture of the stars from TV show Top Gear.

Then there was the art - including a piece from the renowned British street artist Banksy, of a framed £10 note, among other documents.

Astonishingly, it seems, nobody noticed.

While he was allegedly withdrawing more than $2m, the same account only received $6682.04 in deposits from social security provider Centrelink Newstart and an insurer.

Police allege Moore tried to disguise his actions by transferring the money out of the St George account into others.

In October 2010, Moore opened an iSaver account with the National Australia Bank.

Further credits totalling $2153 arrived from Centrelink Newstart, but then three months later a cheque to the value of $17,638.31 was deposited into the account. Seven days later, another of $103,691.30 was added to the account. As of July 16 this year, the NAB account held a total of $507,566.29.

The accused had also previously opened a PayPal account with NAB.

Between December 21, 2011, and July 13 this year, a total of $1,789,000 had been transferred from Moore's complete freedom St George account to the NAB paypal account.

On December 16 last year, Moore opened a second NAB iSaver account, this time through a Surfers Paradise branch.

By August 31 this year, that account held $271,525.83.

Moore opened a third iSaver account on May 17 this year, through NAB's Canberra City branch. By August 31, the account contained $202,839.42.

The documents seen by Fairfax Media suggest by the time Moore's St George account was closed on August 10 of this year, it was overdrawn by the sum of $2,180,583.86.

Noticing the rather glaring anomaly, St George contacted Goulburn police in September and began an investigation.

On Wednesday morning, police raided Moore's West Goulburn home, seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and arresting Moore.

He was charged with knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime and dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

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Moore was granted strict conditional bail at Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday, and he is due to appear at Goulburn Local Court on February 13.

- Sydney Morning Herald and Goulburn Post

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