Aug 19, 2022

$2 million swindled from elderly man by gambling addict

$2 mil swindled from elderly man by gambling addict

A gambling addict, who went to extreme lengths to fund his online betting habits, will be returning to court in November after pleading guilty to eleven counts of deception for scamming an 86-year-old man out of millions.

The accused, 55-year-old Brian James Wilson, plead guilty to two counts of obtaining property by deception and nine counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception back in April.

On Wednesday, the County Court of Victoria heard that Mr Wilson had befriended the elderly gentleman after finding out he was planning to sell his home for $1.6 million in 2018 in Mount Martha, Victoria.

Mr Wilson then assisted the 82-year-old to move into a retirement village. Two months after the older gentleman’s house was sold, the scammer started to boast his profitable business ventures.

The Age reported that the elderly man was convinced to invest his money, over $1.9 million, into Mr Wilson’s business ventures between October 2018 to September 2019.

Some of the “business ventures” included selling chemicals that would “clean milk” and selling products for cleaning to big organisations, including a large construction company and a Victorian council. 

However, Mr Wilson’s business ideas were complete lies and the money provided to him was later funnelled into online betting.

The court was told that the bets placed over this time period totalled over $18.2 million.

There were other cases where the elderly man loaned Mr Wilson money, including an $18,000 car loan, and when he tried to recoup the payments, the victim was sworn at and told to declare bankruptcy “like everyone else”.

The victim, who was 82 at the time of the scam, read out his victim statement in court on Wednesday, saying that the situation had left him broken as he had worked hard for his money.

“I attempted to take my own life due to the desperation I feel.”

Mr Wilson’s defence barrister, Damian Sheales, requested a report into his client’s gambling problems, however, this examination will take until November to finish.

While the case will resume in November, The Age reported that Judge Trevor Wraight raised concerns about the delay in sentencing due to when the offending actually occurred and the age of the victim.

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