Fraud charges over Russia-bound phones, mortgages

Members of a Melbourne organised crime syndicate have been charged over alleged complex frauds totalling almost $4 million, including sending phones to Russia.

Financial crime detectives swooped in to arrest four men on Wednesday and charged them with almost 100 fraud and deception offences following an 18-month investigation.

The quartet are alleged to have fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain more than $2.5 million worth of mobile phones which were destined to be shipped overseas, primarily to Russia.

They also allegedly fraudulently obtained two mortgages and a car worth at least $1.36 million.

A 38-year-old man from Keilor Downs faces 37 charges of obtaining property by deception, knowingly dealing with proceeds and property suspected of crime.

His accomplice, a 33-year-old Taylors Lakes man, was was charged with 37 counts of obtaining property by deception, three counts of gaining financial advantage by deception, dealing with proceeds of crime and three counts of dealing with property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

A 32-year-old man from Sydenham was charged with negligently dealing with proceeds of crime and property suspected of being proceeds of crime.

The fourth man, a 69-year-old Melton man, faces 12 counts of obtaining property by deception, recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime and deal property suspected proceeds of crime.

All four men were released on bail and are set to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

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