Mick Featherstone, ex Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

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15 years as a copper earning better than most was not enough for this snake.

Greedy people cannot help themselves to the big pie it seems. Including coppers who are supposed to fight against this stuff. “Mike Featherstone” might sound like a new Hollywood Cop comedy film that might of been played by the late great Robin Williams…but this ex copper is a crim, a traitor and a grub, a liar, informant and insider.

Have a lot more but needed to see it mainstream first for legal reasons folks…

Michael Featherstone, former senior Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

Tue 2 Sep 2014, 6:46pm

Former senior police detective Michael Featherstone

Photo: Michael Featherstone is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation. (Tony Phillips)

A former senior police detective is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Investigators are probing Michael Featherstone’s links to senior serving and former police officers on the Gold Coast and elsewhere, his possible connections to bikies and his role in cold-calling companies alleged to be involved in fraud.

The companies, which advertise horse-racing betting software and other investments, are alleged to have defrauded hundreds of people across Australia in scams worth millions of dollars.

The ABC can reveal that officers from the Queensland police anti-bikie taskforce Maxima found suspected links to Mr Featherstone, a former fraud squad detective and one-time head of Surfers Paradise CIB, while investigating fraud allegations against members of the Black Uhlans and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs earlier this year.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Police raided a number of premises including the Southport offices of Mr Featherstone’s private investigations company Phoenix Global, taking away computer equipment.

They referred the matter to the CCC because of the body’s forensic accounting expertise and the possible involvement of police officers in protecting Mr Featherstone, his clients and associates.

One senior police officer told the ABC: “We realised we can’t have police officers investigating his links with other police.”

I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.

UKHBB director Johnny Kane

The CCC has set up an operation called Lima Violin II to investigate fraud allegations involving three companies: UK Home Based Business (UKHBB), Lay Trading Solutions and Pegasus Trader.

However, a parallel investigation by the ABC’s 7.30 program has uncovered evidence of the involvement of Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global, not only with two of these companies but a range of alleged Gold Coast scams dating back almost 10 years.

They are linked to the Gold Coast private investigator in various ways – through his involvement in recruiting and managing patsy directors on behalf of others, by his own direct role as a director or shareholder, or by his providing advice on how to set up, run and protect such operations.

The ABC has identified dozens of customers of UKHBB who between them lost almost $4 million.

Several have told the ABC they received emails earlier this year saying their accounts had been suspended because of a “software problem”.

But the ABC has established that there was no software problem: the order to close UKHBB came late last year from Phoenix Global.

Correspondence obtained by the ABC shows Phoenix Global recruited and gave day-to-day instructions to the directors of UKHBB and Pegasus Trader to carry out banking and other administrative jobs.

Security guard recruited as UKHBB frontman

Johnny Kane, who works as a security guard, was recruited to be the director of UKHBB.

Security guard Johnny Kane

Security guard Johnny Kane

He has described to the ABC how Mr Featherstone convinced him to be the front-man for UKHBB and other companies, though Mr Featherstone had no official links with these companies and was not part of their management.

Mr Kane said his duties had also included picking up large quantities of cash from the bank and delivering it to the offices of UKHBB and Phoenix Global.

“Before Christmas I was asked to do that for about four days,” Mr Kane said.

“We’re talking $40,000 per cheque, three times a day, for about a week.

“I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.”

 

Extract of UKHBB bank statement showing cheque withdrawals Infographic: An extract of a bank statement for UKHBB, showing cheque withdrawals.

In an email from Phoenix Global to Mr Kane dated December 12, Mr Featherstone’s son Zach asked him to “be available to close the UKHB bank accounts on the 24th of December 2013″.

Bank statements show UKHBB collected at least $4 million in fees for trading licences in the second half of last year. More than a quarter of this was received in December.

Almost $500,000 was immediately withdrawn from the account by cheque in round amounts of between $5,000 and $40,000. A few weeks later the account was empty.

Separately, the ABC has established Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global have played a central role in a series of other race-betting syndicates with a network of associates in Australia and overseas, one of whom is a convicted fraudster.

In an email discussing one such venture, Mr Featherstone wrote earlier this year: “This initiative should raise a lot of $$, but it is important that it is coordinated professionally… you will also need to consider timing and the medium of delivery, so that it doesn’t appear to be a scam or cash grab.”

Other documents show Phoenix Global used the name of someone who never worked at the company to create fake payslips that were used this year to obtain $150,000 of car finance as well as credit cards for one of these race-betting syndicates.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Featherstone denied any involvement in the running or management of UKHBB or any other race betting or software operation.

He acknowledged the instruction to close the UKHBB account had come from his office but said it was a “risk management” measure because of a “security breach”, without providing further details.

Asked about the fake payslips, Mr Featherstone’s lawyer said his client had provided a statement to police that “a person or persons had unlawfully used its brand to create a false document and forged our client’s signature to gain an advantage

Featherstone delivered speech for high-ranking officer

Who is Michael Featherstone?

Mick Featherstone served in the QPS from 1981 until late 1996.

Called as a witness by the 1997 Carter Inquiry into police involvement in the drug trade, he denied wrongdoing over the alleged disappearance of more than $20,000 in seized drug money while it was in his custody at Southport watch house.

He was also investigated over allegations he planted drugs on a suspect with whom he was personally connected, and his connection to a barrister who was under police investigation. No charges were ever brought against him.

Mr Featherstone resigned from the QPS at age 33. According to the QPS he did so under special arrangements following a recommendation from the Commissioner. Media reports at the time said this allowed him to get a significant payout.

Phoenix Global has provided “compliance” services to a range of companies on the Gold Coast, some of which are race-betting operations registered in Vanuatu.

It specialises in finding and removing adverse or defamatory internet posts about its clients, and offers investigative services to people facing criminal charges.

Mr Featherstone’s clients have included convicted child rapist John Chardon, whose wife Novy is missing, presumed dead; convicted fraudster Glenn Connelly; and Mario Girardo, who was jailed in 2010 over kidnap and extortion.

He has also worked for three-time bankrupt property spruiker and so-called “King Con” Dudley Quinlivan, and is a director of several companies connected to Michael King, who is being prosecuted by ASIC for allegedly acting dishonestly over a $150 million loan.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading, which licences private investigators, declined to say whether it had ever received complaints about Mr Featherstone or Phoenix Global.

Mr Featherstone has been photographed socialising with senior serving officers, was endorsed online by a Brisbane inspector and even gave a speech at a recent send-off for a high-ranking Gold Coast officer.

According to his lawyer, Mr Featherstone “was asked to make a short speech” at the event, a “farewell retirement for an officer he had served with in the 1980s”.

The lawyer said Mr Featherstone “has no friendship or association with any serving police officer”.

A former detective has told the ABC that he discovered Mr Featherstone’s social links to this high-ranking officer while investigating fraud allegations on the Gold Coast and raised it with his superiors.

“They told me, ‘don’t go there’,” he said.

Mr Featherstone was the subject of a detailed complaint to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission in 2010 after it emerged he had done the work of Gold Coast police in collecting witness statements in a trespass case where the complainant was one of his clients.

There is no evidence of any action being taken against him.

NSW private investigator Ken Gamble, working on behalf of a group of scam victims, presented a detailed brief of evidence naming Mr Featherstone to the Queensland police fraud squad in 2012, but received no response.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said in a statement it had requested further information from Mr Gamble and that it had not been provided.

Mr Gamble said police had never made such a request and the QPS statement was “false and misleading”.

Former nightclub owner alleged to be key figure in scams

A key figure in the scams is alleged to be Phil Cropper, who is said to have been the sales manager of UKHBB and to have run other boiler-room operations linked to Mr Featherstone.

Mr Cropper, a former nightclub owner who was acquitted of an extortion attempt on actor Russell Crowe in 2002, is thought to have fled overseas since the raid on Mr Featherstone’s premises and the ABC has been unable to contact him.

Mr Kane said he now faced bankruptcy because of lawsuits filed against him by victims.

Mr Kane said that while UKHBB was operating he had frequently sought and received reassurance from Mr Featherstone that what he was being asked to do was legal.

He said his home had been raided by police in February and he had later been shocked to find how widely known Mr Featherstone’s activities were on the Gold Coast.

“When I went to Legal Aid to tell them about my story, they finished my story for me. They knew exactly what I was talking about,” he said.

“They rattled off a list of names and said ‘did you work for one of these people?’ and I knew all the names.

“One of the names was Featherstone.”

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Neville Wran’s daughter Harriet Wran charged with murder over


Only the very best legal defence for this girl I’m guessing. Cops better make sure its watertight…The Wran family have briefed prominent barrister Winston Terracini SC to act on Ms Wran’s behalf. Stay away from drugs people

Thu 14 Aug 2014, 7:04am

Redfern stabbing

Photo: Paramedics with a stretcher at the scene of the killing in Redfern on Sunday night. (ABC News)

The daughter of former New South Wales premier Neville Wran has been charged with murder over a stabbing death in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern.

Harriet Wran, 26, was arrested along with Michael Lee, 35, in Liverpool on Wednesday afternoon.

Overnight, both were charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated break and enter.

They will face court today accused of killing Daniel McNaulty, 48, who was stabbed to death on Sunday outside a public housing block in Redfern.

Police said the arrests were made after a red hatchback was found in the Sydney suburb of Waterloo.

On Tuesday night, Lloyd Haines, 28, was also charged with murder over the stabbing.

A 42-year-old man who was critically injured in the attack remains in a stable condition in St Vincent’s Hospital.

Mr Wran, who led NSW from May 1976 to July 1986, died in April.

Harriet Wran is the second youngest of the former premier’s five children.


Neville Wran’s daughter Harriet charged with murder over Redfern stabbing death of Daniel McNulty

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/l3MGNtbzriOz7AUZCUZQ79lW_Kt5-tHi/promo232191327&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

THE daughter of former premier Neville Wran was last night charged with murder over the stabbing death of a man at a Redfern unit block.

Harriet Wran, the youngest daughter of the former Labor state leader, who died at the age of 87 on April 20, was yesterday confirmed by police as a person of interest in the murder of 48-year-old Daniel McNulty and the stabbing of another man, Brett Fitzgerald.

She was charged early this morning with murder, attempted murder and aggravated break and enter.

She will appear in Liverpool Local Court today.

The Wran family have briefed prominent barrister Winston Terracini SC to act on Ms Wran’s behalf.

Wran daughter quizzed over murder

Murdered… Daniel McNulty. Source: DailyTelegraph

MURDERED MAN A TRUE GENTLEMAN, FAMILY SAYS

TOP LEGAL EAGLE ON THE CASE FOR HARRIET

NEVILLE WRAN’S WILL LEFT A $40m FORTUNE

Fronting media this morning, Mr Terracini said bail would not be applied for.

“We are not going to make a bail application tomorrow,” Mr Terracini said.

“It will be a five minute job, we turn up, bail will be refused, won’t be applied for.”

The former University of Sydney student, and goddaughter of Kerry Packer, handed herself into Cabramatta Police Station just after 5pm, along with a 30-year-old man, Michael Lee, who was also wanted for questioning.

Lee was also charged with murder, attempted murder and aggravated break and enter, and will appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

Neville Wran with his children Harriet (8) and Hugo (5) in 1996.

Neville Wran with his children Harriet (8) and Hugo (5) in 1996. Source: News Corp Australia

The shock twist came just hours after 29-year-old Lloyd Edward Haines yesterday faced Parramatta Local Court for the murder of Mr McNulty on Sunday night.

Senior police sources confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that Wran, 26, and a 30-year- old man of Asian appearance were wanted in connection with the double stabbing at the Walker St unit block.

In a statement announcing Haines’ arrest, police said they were looking for a man and woman also believed to be inside the apartment at the time.

Hugo Wran, Jill Wran and Harriet Wran at Neville Wran’s funeral / Picture: Craig Greenhil

Hugo Wran, Jill Wran and Harriet Wran at Neville Wran’s funeral / Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: News Corp Australia

McNulty died at the scene shortly after paramedics were called about 7.45pm, while Mr Fitzergerald was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital with multiple stab wounds. His condition is stable.

Wran was wearing jeans and a blue shirt at the time of the arrest, and had her brown hair worn up, police say.

Harriet Wran’s brother Hugo leaves the Wran family home in Potts Point last night / Pictu

Harriet Wran’s brother Hugo leaves the Wran family home in Potts Point last night / Picture: Rohan Kelly Source: News Corp Australia

Detectives yesterday went to the family home in Woollahra in search of Wran, but neither Harriet or her mother Jill, Mr Wran’s wife of more than 30 years, were home, leaving the youngest child Hugo, 23, to try to contact his family.

“I’ve been informed, that’s all, sorry I can’t answer any questions,” he told The Daily Telegraph last night.

Neville Wran with wife Jill and baby Harriet in 1988 / Picture: Rob Drew

Neville Wran with wife Jill and baby Harriet in 1988 / Picture: Rob Drew Source: News Corp Australia

 

 

Jill Wran was last night ­organising to return to Sydney from Brisbane to support her daughter.

Harriet and her younger brother Hugo, the youngest of Mr Wran’s four children, read poems during a state memorial service for their father, who died aged 87 after a long struggle with dementia.

 

 

The window of Daniel McNaulty’s apartment / Picture: Richard Dobson

The window of Daniel McNulty’s apartment / Picture: Richard Dobson Source: News Corp Australia

The siblings sat side by side in the front row of the Sydney Town Hall for the service for their father, who served as NSW premier from 1976 to 1986. Harriet read a Shakespearean sonnet at the ­funeral, following speeches from former prime minister Paul Keating and Bob Carr.

Haines, who handed himself into police, did not appear in the dock of Parramatta Local Court and his bail was formally refused on charges of murder, attempted murder and aggravated break and enter.

His case returns to Parramatta Court on October 9.

Harriet Wran, daughter of the late former premier Neville / Picture: Facebook

Harriet Wran, daughter of the late former premier Neville / Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

Police at the scene of the stabbing in Redfern on Sunday night / Picture: Bill Hearne

Police at the scene of the stabbing in Redfern on Sunday night / Picture: Bill Hearne Source: News Corp Australia

 

AFP get another 135 kg of ICE worth $130m off our streets


Follow the money and the drugs will follow. The minnows they caught with the drugs are disposable, with a queue of guys ready to take their places.

That is a lot of money to the man on the street to lose, but if you haven’t seen the brilliant show called “breaking bad”. The drugs they lost are are a mere few batches away for the big players. Not much else the Australian Federal Police can do.

from the ABC Thu 31 Jul 2014, 9:36am

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine.

A joint AFP-ACC raid in Melbourne has netted 135 kilograms of methamphetamine. (ABC News: Tony Nicholls)

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have seized 135 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $130 million from a Melbourne apartment.

Police said they located four suitcases containing the drugs in an inner city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday night.

The drugs represent 1.3 million street deals, police said.

The AFP and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) executed search warrants in Melbourne yesterday and arrested four Taiwanese nationals, all aged in their twenties.

Eligo Taskforce since 2012:

  • Aprox $40 million in cash seized
  • Over $800 million of illicit drugs seized
  • $30 million in assets restrained
  • Identified more than 179 targets previously unknown to law enforcement officials
  • Disrupted 25 serious organised crime groups
  • Shut down 18 clandestine drug labs, three of which were commercial scale
  • Raised $12 million in tax assessments with 150 referrals to the ATO for further action on evasion and money laundering.

The seizure and arrests comes after intelligence from the Eligo National Task Force.

AFP Commander Bruce Giles said it was a significant seizure for the country and the state.

“Ice, we see as one of the most dangerous and insidious diseases in our communities and the fact that we have removed over 1.3 million street deals of methamphetamine has got to be good for the Victorian and Australian community,” he said.

“I think in terms of an organised crime syndicate operating in Australia, clearly they will see yet again that agencies cooperate effectively together to join forces to combat the drug trade.”

The four men, Chun Lan, 28, Ming Hsuan Ou and Li Ping Chen, both 23, and Shu Yi Lin, 20, appeared briefly in the Melbourne Magistrates Court just before 1:00pm (AEST).

They were all charged with possessing and trafficking a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The 135kg of crystal methylamphetamine, or ice, worth about $130 million

The court heard the men, who were assisted by a translator, have Australian tourist visas and their arrest yesterday is their first time in custody.

They have been remanded in custody until their next court hearing. Magistrate Jelena Popovic told the men they could apply for bail at any time.

They will return to court on November 5 for a committal mention.


A Melbourne ice haul of 135kg packed into suitcases has been uncovered after authorities tracked profits of a crime syndicate.

Authorities tracking money linked to offshore crime syndicates have seized $130 million worth of ice packed into plastic bags and stacked in four bulging suitcases in a Melbourne apartment.

Four Taiwanese nationals in Australia on tourist visas have been charged over the crystal methylamphetamine haul.

More than 135kg of the drug was seized, an amount which police say would have been on-sold to users 1.3 million times over.

A joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission (ACC) operation netted the illicit product, after intelligence was provided through the Eligo national task force which tracks money laundering.

ACC national manager of investigations Richard Grant said people were increasingly being targeted by cartels and offshore syndicates, focused purely on profit.

“One of the things for the Eligo task force is going after the profits and this is how we were able to track these particular syndicate members to end up with these seizures,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

AFP commander Bruce Giles said the bust was significant and investigations into the exact source of the drugs were ongoing.

“Traditionally with this quantity of ice, you would expect it to come by land or sea,” he said.

The drugs were found in four suitcases in an inner-city Melbourne apartment on Tuesday afternoon.

Four men have been charged with a range of drug offences.

A brief hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday was told the men were in Australia on tourist visas and have no fixed address within the country.

Shu Yi Lin, 20, and Li Ping Chen, 23, were both charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ice suspected of being illegally imported.

Chun Lan, 28, and Ming Hsuan Ou, 23, were each charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ice.

Who wants to be a unpaid crime blog reporter/contributer?


Not real journo’s who still have a job, maybe cadets (but not good for resume…mmm)

Maybe old school scribes who wish they could stay in the game!

How about folks like me with no relevant qualifications but gives a toss about the crimes in their communities?

The pay-off is a verdict like today GBC cowardly wife killer.

People like me? You relate to how I write?

Hey cant spell well, 2 finger typer…So am I YES…Our stuff gets checked before we post.

Sounds like you?

GOOD keep reading

This site has had massive coverage lately (I cover non famous crimes too)

I’m thinking along the lines of a Co-ordinator in each state

That co-ordinator runs that states crimes and has authors who get the stories up.

What do you think?

Sound good, bad, troublesome, confusing?

All I want is to give the best coverage of what is going on in our communities.

The community expectations has/have?  outgrown my skills honestly…

Each state, minimum deserves better coverage. The good people email me why haven’t you covered this rape, or that kidnapping, or the death of a cousin in my indigenous community.

You could help us!

GBC Trial Day 19.5 (the weekend)


Something to get the chat going for the weekend

 

Baden-Clay murder trial: Large crowds in court evidence of a healthy legal system, top barrister says

11/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has seen a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding

The high level of public interest in the Gerard Baden-Clay trial is nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact makes for a healthy legal system, a top barrister says.

The former real estate agent’s murder trial attracted crowds to the Brisbane Supreme Court, with extra courtrooms opened for people who queued day after day to gain entry, and a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General says these special arrangements for large-scale trials are made to ensure openness and transparency in the justice system.

This transparency is key to keeping Australia’s legal apparatus – everyone from police to barristers and judges – held to account, says Ken Fleming, QC.

Mr Fleming was the defence barrister for former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel and has worked as a United Nations prosecutor on international war crimes trials.

“Everyone should be held accountable for what they’re doing, and the open scrutiny of it is a very important thing,” he said.

“You just can’t have things going on behind closed doors, because that engenders fear of the unknown.”

Mr Fleming says the “whole delivery of justice” depends on high levels of public interest, because people can see and understand the process.

Seeing mystery unravel part of appeal, barrister says

The courts are not, however, in danger of turning into another form of entertainment – rather, they always have been.

“You only have to think about the French Revolution and the guillotining in the forecourt of the Notre Dame,” Mr Fleming said.

Although some people may attend just to see a mystery unravel, he believes many also have a genuine interest in watching the ins and outs of the legal process.

There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

Ken Fleming, QC

“You only have to look at some of the British television programs to see how we love a good murder mystery,” he said.

“There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

“They just have a genuine interest in what’s going on.”

Glen Cranny, a defence lawyer and partner at Gilshenan and Luton Lawyers, also believes a high level of public interest is healthy for the criminal justice system generally.

“People might come for any number of reasons, and some might come for mawkish reasons,” he said.

“Nevertheless, I think the benefits of having an open and transparent system … far outweigh any perverse interest some people may get out of such proceedings.”

Public pressure witnesses face may discourage some: lawyer

Publicity and public interest in a case can also encourage other complainants or witnesses to come forward and give evidence, where they may have otherwise been unaware or not confident enough.

Rolf Harris‘s case in England, for example, involved people who were coming forward as complainants once they, I think, had the courage that there were protections and systems in place for their story to be told,” Mr Cranny said.

But this benefit has a flip-side: that very publicity could make people apprehensive about revealing their story.

“I think there is a tipping point where some people might think they could do without their face or name being splashed on TV as a witness, or as a complainant,” Mr Cranny said.

“They would be happy to be involved in the process in a low-key way, but don’t want to be engaged … in anything that might in some way feel like a circus to them.”

Reputational issues should also be factored in, especially when a person’s conduct, while lawful, may not hold them in a good light.

“We’ve seen in a recent high-profile case … a lot of focus on extra-marital affairs and so on,” Mr Cranny said.

“There are people who are involved in those relationships, who haven’t broken the law, but have become very prominent just through their personal lives.”

Mr Fleming says that while public interest could make some people “a bit reluctant”, he had not seen any evidence of public attendance impacting on witnesses.

“It is on display and in a sense it’s theatre,” he said.

“But once people are resigned to the fact that they will be giving evidence, I don’t think too much stands in their way.”

Opening additional courtrooms and keeping the public away from “where the action is happening” also means witnesses are only faced with a very small and confined audience in the main court, Mr Fleming said.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne has asked a jury to retire to consider a verdict in the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay.