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


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.

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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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Bikie member Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi gets 21 years for killing Anthony Zervas


Boys will be boys…But when they do not grow up, they commit silly ill thought out crimes all for the wrong reasons. The Club, the gang, my brothers even, as they often say…For what? There are many “heroes” in jail who regret their stupid decisions…I kind of feel this loser will not be one of them…EGO is everything…When you get to jail it is all about reputation and street cred…Unfortunately that counts for SFA outside jail.

The victim was no angel but seriously, a few dudes catching a flight and realise they are on the same flight as a rival?…Apparently that’s worth killing for…

A BIKIE boss found guilty of murdering a rival gang member during a brawl at Sydney Airport has been jailed for at least 21 years and six months.

Comanchero chief Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, has been jailed for more than 21 years over the death of Anthony Zervas at Sydney Airport

Comanchero national president Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi, 31, was found guilty last November of the March 2009 murder of Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas.

In the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Robert Allan Hulme set a non-parole period of 21 years and a maximum of 28 years for the murder.

Hawi was also found guilty of affray for which he received a fixed term of three years, six months to be partly accumulated with the murder term.

The sentence is backdated to when he went into custody in May 2009.

The judge said Hawi and his Comanchero colleagues had displayed “a flagrant disregard” not only for the law, but also for the many witnesses “in whose memories the incident will live long”.

Mr Zervas suffered stab wounds and massive head injuries when he was attacked with bollards and kicked, punched and stomped on as he lay on the floor of the domestic terminal.

The brawl erupted after a chance encounter between Hawi and Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu on a flight from Melbourne.

Ex-bikie boss jailed for airport murder

Paul Bibby

Former national Commanchero bikie boss, Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi has been sentenced to at least 21 years in jail for the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas in the infamous Sydney Airport brawl.

Mr Zervas, 29, was bludgeoned with a bollard and stabbed in the chest and abdomen during the brawl on March 22, 2009, which shocked bystanders and the city more broadly.

Today, Hawi, 31, was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court to a maximum of 28 years in jail with a non-parole period of 21 years. This followed a marathon trial, which concluded on November 2 last year, when Hawi was found guilty of murder and affray.

The sentencing judge, Justice Robert Allan Hulme, said the Commancheros and Hells Angels had assembled at the airport after being contacted by gang members on a plane from Melbourne.

Hells Angels chapter president Derek Wainohu, who was on the plane and felt intimidated by Hawi and other Commancheros present, sent a text for help and, in response, a number of Hells Angels, including Mr Zervas, went to the airport.

There were a series of scuffles in which 12 Commancheros confronted five Hells Angels, punching and kicking each other and attacking each other with heavy metal bollards in the departure lounge.

Mr Zervas died during the brawl.

Five other Commanchero members were also tried for murder. They were found not guilty, found guilty of manslaughter or are facing retrials after the jury was hung.

A further six members or associates of the Commancheros were subsequently convicted of a range of offences including riot, affray and assault.

“This was a shocking and violent crime,” Justice Hulme said.

“The deceased was killed in an act of retribution because he dared to attack the president of the Commenchero. No one, in his mind, was going to get away with that.”

Justice Hulme described how many of those who saw the brawl were left in a state of shock, including a young mother who, after protecting her child, was “frozen in fear”.

“The fighting, though short-lived, was shocking and vicious,” he said.

“There was a large crowd of innocent bystanders. They were shocked and frightened that such violence could occur in such a public place.”

Justice Hulme said the Commenchero had been in conflict with the Hells Angels for some time.

“A business being conducted by persons associated with the Hells Angels in Brighton-Le-Sands had been firebombed. A Hells Angels controlled tattoo parlour in Petersham was the subject of a drive-by shooting. A Hells Angels clubhouse in Crystal Street, Petersham, had been bombed.

“It was the belief of police that the Comanchero were responsible for each of these incidents.”

He said a chance meeting with Mr Wainohu, on the flight from Melbourne and the summoning of reinforcements to Sydney Airport led to the riot that culminated in the death of Mr Zervas.

“Anthony Zervas was the first to make a move by attacking the offender [Hawi]. It was a pre-emptive strike in the face of an inevitable attack but it was foolish in the extreme. He was 161 centimetres tall and weighed only 58 kilograms while [Hawi] was 178 centimetres tall with a muscular build. A witness description of a man having ‘arms as big as legs was apt for the offender’.”

Hawi stood, chin raised, as the judge delivered the sentence.

Mr Zervas’s mother, Frederika Bromwich, broke down in court after the sentence was read and nearly fainted outside court as – flanked by her daughters – she addressed the media.

“No punishment is enough for the loss of my son,” a shaky and tearful Ms Bromwich said.

“I just pray that he gets the punishment he deserves. My son didn’t deserve to die in that way

Bikie member Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi gets 21 years for killing Anthony Zervas


Boys will be boys…But when they do not grow up, they commit silly ill thought out crimes all for the wrong reasons. The Club, the gang, my brothers even, as they often say…For what? There are many “heroes” in jail who regret their stupid decisions…I kind of feel this loser will not be one of them…EGO is everything…When you get to jail it is all about reputation and street cred…Unfortunately that counts for SFA outside jail.

The victim was no angel but seriously, a few dudes catching a flight and realise they are on the same flight as a rival?…Apparently that’s worth killing for…

A BIKIE boss found guilty of murdering a rival gang member during a brawl at Sydney Airport has been jailed for at least 21 years and six months.

Comanchero chief Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi, has been jailed for more than 21 years over the death of Anthony Zervas at Sydney Airport

Comanchero national president Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi, 31, was found guilty last November of the March 2009 murder of Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas.

In the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Robert Allan Hulme set a non-parole period of 21 years and a maximum of 28 years for the murder.

Hawi was also found guilty of affray for which he received a fixed term of three years, six months to be partly accumulated with the murder term.

The sentence is backdated to when he went into custody in May 2009.

The judge said Hawi and his Comanchero colleagues had displayed “a flagrant disregard” not only for the law, but also for the many witnesses “in whose memories the incident will live long”.

Mr Zervas suffered stab wounds and massive head injuries when he was attacked with bollards and kicked, punched and stomped on as he lay on the floor of the domestic terminal.

The brawl erupted after a chance encounter between Hawi and Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu on a flight from Melbourne.

Ex-bikie boss jailed for airport murder

Paul Bibby

Former national Commanchero bikie boss, Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi has been sentenced to at least 21 years in jail for the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas in the infamous Sydney Airport brawl.

Mr Zervas, 29, was bludgeoned with a bollard and stabbed in the chest and abdomen during the brawl on March 22, 2009, which shocked bystanders and the city more broadly.

Today, Hawi, 31, was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court to a maximum of 28 years in jail with a non-parole period of 21 years. This followed a marathon trial, which concluded on November 2 last year, when Hawi was found guilty of murder and affray.

The sentencing judge, Justice Robert Allan Hulme, said the Commancheros and Hells Angels had assembled at the airport after being contacted by gang members on a plane from Melbourne.

Hells Angels chapter president Derek Wainohu, who was on the plane and felt intimidated by Hawi and other Commancheros present, sent a text for help and, in response, a number of Hells Angels, including Mr Zervas, went to the airport.

There were a series of scuffles in which 12 Commancheros confronted five Hells Angels, punching and kicking each other and attacking each other with heavy metal bollards in the departure lounge.

Mr Zervas died during the brawl.

Five other Commanchero members were also tried for murder. They were found not guilty, found guilty of manslaughter or are facing retrials after the jury was hung.

A further six members or associates of the Commancheros were subsequently convicted of a range of offences including riot, affray and assault.

“This was a shocking and violent crime,” Justice Hulme said.

“The deceased was killed in an act of retribution because he dared to attack the president of the Commenchero. No one, in his mind, was going to get away with that.”

Justice Hulme described how many of those who saw the brawl were left in a state of shock, including a young mother who, after protecting her child, was “frozen in fear”.

“The fighting, though short-lived, was shocking and vicious,” he said.

“There was a large crowd of innocent bystanders. They were shocked and frightened that such violence could occur in such a public place.”

Justice Hulme said the Commenchero had been in conflict with the Hells Angels for some time.

“A business being conducted by persons associated with the Hells Angels in Brighton-Le-Sands had been firebombed. A Hells Angels controlled tattoo parlour in Petersham was the subject of a drive-by shooting. A Hells Angels clubhouse in Crystal Street, Petersham, had been bombed.

“It was the belief of police that the Comanchero were responsible for each of these incidents.”

He said a chance meeting with Mr Wainohu, on the flight from Melbourne and the summoning of reinforcements to Sydney Airport led to the riot that culminated in the death of Mr Zervas.

“Anthony Zervas was the first to make a move by attacking the offender [Hawi]. It was a pre-emptive strike in the face of an inevitable attack but it was foolish in the extreme. He was 161 centimetres tall and weighed only 58 kilograms while [Hawi] was 178 centimetres tall with a muscular build. A witness description of a man having ‘arms as big as legs was apt for the offender’.”

Hawi stood, chin raised, as the judge delivered the sentence.

Mr Zervas’s mother, Frederika Bromwich, broke down in court after the sentence was read and nearly fainted outside court as – flanked by her daughters – she addressed the media.

“No punishment is enough for the loss of my son,” a shaky and tearful Ms Bromwich said.

“I just pray that he gets the punishment he deserves. My son didn’t deserve to die in that way

Toby Mitchell shooting- “Prisoners on War” Jail Gang link-UPDATES


UPDATE 12/03/15

Such a shame, apparently everyone says Toby is a top guy (when they are within a foot of him) The truth is he is a long time crim, a thug, an enforcer of sorts who is happy to Delegate his tasks to others. he happened to have a stack of enemies inside and out of jail. No wonder he was keen for bail.

Ex-Bandido bikie Toby Mitchell denied bail over alleged South Melbourne assault

Former bikie enforcer Toby Mitchell has again been refused bail by a Supreme Court judge over allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill a man and his baby daughter.

Mitchell allegedly attacked the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a South Melbourne Cafe in January after he refused to lend Mitchell $300,000.

Police allege the victim took his three-month-old daughter to the meeting as protection.

The court heard Mitchell allegedly responded by punching the man in the face, jabbing him with a gun and threatening to kill both him and his daughter.

He was denied bail in January but reapplied.

Mitchell’s lawyer told the court no one else had witnessed it and argued he should not disqualified from bail because of his history. mmmm

During the bail application hearing, Justice Betty King questioned whether she could impose bail conditions on Mitchell, because he had admitted to punching the man in public and shown contempt for the law.

Justice King also found he was an unacceptable risk of interfering with witnesses.

A former member of outlaw motorcycle gang the Bandidos, the 40-year-old was shot several times outside a Brunswick gym in 2011 and lost a kidney.

AN underworld criminal linked with powerful jail gang Prisoners of War is being investigated over the public shooting of bikie enforcer Toby Mitchell.

Danielle McGuire outside Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday, as were several Bandidos members. Inset: Toby Mitchell. (This Image digitally enhanced by the Herald Sun)

The feared jail gang leader and an associate led police on a short chase in the city on Thursday before being arrested with a pistol.

The gun was found under the front seat of a luxury car that was being driven the wrong way up tram tracks on Collins St.

The gun was not the same firearm used to blast up to six bullets at Mitchell – the Bandidos sergeant-at-arms – near a supermarket carpark in Brunswick three days earlier.

Police also found what they believe to be a gym floor plan in the car.

Mitchell was shot outside Doherty’s Gym while talking to owner Tony Doherty.

Following the city arrests, police conducted further raids in Skye and Mill Park.

Detectives initially denied there was a link between the city arrests and the Mitchell shooting.

Toby Mitchell lost a kidney and part of his liver after being shot multiple times in Brunswick

Mitchell has refused to make a statement to police from his hospital bed and investigators have chosen not to release CCTV footage from Bandidos security cameras outside their Weston St clubhouse, next to the gym.

Mitchell was repeatedly shot as he ran from his attackers and has had surgery to remove a kidney.

It is believed he was placed in an induced coma at the weekend and has also lost part of his liver.

Sources have told the Herald Sun that Mitchell was shot up to five times.

The daylight shooting in front of schoolchildren and shoppers has the potential to escalate into a deadly war between organised crime figures and outlaw bikies.

It is believed the Mitchell shooting is related to a planned hit on his predecessor as Bandidos sergeant-at-arms, Lee Undy.

Undy was jailed for 22 months last month over firearm offences, leaving Mitchell to take over his enforcer position at the club.

A feud, which has led to heavy-handed treatment of underworld figures by Undy and Mitchell over drugs, is believed to be at the centre of the conflict.

Undy, who drives a Ferrari and has a tattoo “FTW” (f— the world), on his face, was a regular visitor to Thailand and Dubai.

The court heard last month Undy was arming himself after police warned him of the threat to his life.

One of the theories to emerge about the Mitchell hit was that it was ordered by a player in Melbourne’s drug trade.

Another is that an underworld figure’s arms were broken by Bandidos.

It was also claimed that Roberta Williams’ fiance Rob Carpenter had been bashed by club members.

In other developments:

POLICE know where the Ford Territory used by the gunmen was stolen from.

A GANGLAND figure photographed at the funeral of Williams’ henchman Benji Veniamin, who is a King St regular, had his arms broken by members of a bikie gang.

LEADING bikie figures have been to Asia helping set up new chapters.

 

Government Crackdown on organised crime


My Say

Time will tell, but I mean a crackdown? Does that mean they have just let it slide in the past? I would suggest that most of the corrupt coppers and politicians have all but been weeded out and there is no where to hide for the Government about doing something about these groups. Organised crime has been around forever, the only thing that changes is how much protection they get, NO MATTER where they are based…

Hells Angels bikies farewell slain crime figure Macchour Chaouk in an ominous display of support yesterday

DEPUTY Commissioner Ken Jones has called on the State Government to beef up laws to combat organised crime.

It comes a day after Hells Angels bikies farewelled slain crime figure Macchour Chaouk in an ominous display of support.

Sir Ken said police and the government had spoken about changes to the law.

“I’m talking about some adjustments to law that will allow us to confront and contest organised crime,” Sir Ken told 3AW.

“If that’s represented by bikie gangs it’ll be used against them.

“We do need to talk about fortification. We need to talk about assets but, by and large, we’re in the right place.”

The State Opposition has already proposed to dismantle and sell bikie clubhouses in a crackdown on criminal gangs.

The move would allow police to close down the fortified clubhouses of gangs engaged in illegal activity and sell the properties, with money being returned to the state’s coffers.

The proposed new anti-fortification laws, based on similar legislation in the Northern Territory, could jeopardise the clubs’ ownership of property valued at millions of dollars.