The fate of one of Australia’s most notorious swindlers has been revealed. Bill Jordanou, a former professional poker player who made a better living as a scam artist, will spend at least nine years behind bars for his role in a scheme that defrauded individuals of just over $53 million.
Jordanou had been involved in a scheme with cohort Robert Zaia that allowed them to take the money through an intricate setup using the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Some reports have also said that the fraud could only have been perpetrated with help from someone inside CBA and that the bank knew of the activity in 2007 but didn’t do anything to stop it.
This past February, Jordanou pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy to commit fraud. He admitted in court that he had used forged documents to receive loans. Some of the money from the loans were used to develop property, while $20 million reportedly ended up in a private account maintained by Zaia. In addition to the fake loan documents, additional money was withdrawn from clients’ accounts without their knowledge or consent.
The shyster was also able to con another $13 million out of several other companies, including the Bank of Queensland, Rhino Money, Westpac and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. In addition to property development, it was determined that the money was also used to finance gambling trips to Las Vegas and Macau, luxury cars, jewelry and motorcycles.
The 60-year-old player/scammer was brutally chided during his trial for his actions in the court room. The judge hearing the case, Country Court of Victoria Judge Paul Lacava, lashed out at him for delaying the proceedings with an “embarrassing” cross-examination that led to “a complete waste of the court’s time.” He also said, “The CBA conspiracy was a prolonged fraud of breathtaking proportions. The level of falsifications and some of the documentation supplied to the CBA was high and the action of giving it to the bank audacious.”
The judge slapped Jordanou with a 12-year prison sentence of which nine are mandatory. He has already served about 198 days behind bars in pre-sentence detention, which will be deducted from the sentence. Zaia, who is also a former accountant with Scoresby, has yet to hear what his fate will be.