A Sydney man is accused of defrauding would-be dog owners out of more than $91,000 in five states before laundering the funds via cryptocurrencies.
According to police, the individual worked as a money mule for a worldwide crime syndicate, receiving $91,580 in bank deposits from buyers before changing the funds to cryptocurrencies.
The 53-year-old was detained at an apartment on George Street in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday morning and later charged with being a member of a criminal gang and 23 counts of knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
According to police, the individual defrauded at least 23 buyers in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania by posting bogus adverts online, particularly for English Staffordshire Bull Terriers and French Bulldog puppies.
Before the fraudulent breeders cut contact with the purchasers, they paid deposits for pets that never existed.
He was released on conditional bail and is scheduled to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on June 23.