SUCCESSFUL punters who took part in Bill Vlahos’ collapsed gambling scheme have been sent letters demanding they return $23 million of their winnings to punters who lost.
Vlahos’ bankruptcy trustee, Clyde White, has sent 73 letters of demand threatening court action if they do not pay up.
One small group of investors was asked to return $4 million and three individuals were hit with claims of more than $2 million each.
Mr White is seeking $23,350,110 in total, or an average of $315,000 each from successful punters.
He has already clawed back $900,000 from Sydney investor Ibrahim Elbekkahi after taking Federal Court action.
“I’m not just shaking the tree and hoping for something to happen,” he said.
“I’m taking legal action because of my investigations and the evidence that I have; I’m sure I have a claim against them.
“It’s not just based on frightening people into returning money.
“This is a case where a lot of people have been hurt and they don’t need me making unreasonable demands.”
Investors would get 15c in the dollar back if all the “winners” of the scheme, which had total losses of $150 million, returned their cash.
Victoria Police’s fraud squad has been reviewing four million documents as part of its two-year investigation into the scheme.
Investors have said there was no hope Mr White would claw back the $23 million, and raised concerns about his fees.
“A lot of people were saying we might get some money but they won’t see a cent,” an investor said.
“They got money from the sale of his home in Torquay and all of a sudden that got absorbed in the trustee fees.”
Mr White’s fees have already totalled $427,030 for his investigations into the scheme, which has included contacting Westpac, NAB and HSBC banks, as well as discussions with Victoria Police.
He has sought another $450,020 to finish his work, which will be voted on at a creditors’ meeting at Victoria University on Flinders St on December 17.
Mr White has made the claim against punters under Section 120 of the Bankruptcy Act, claiming he has a right to get back money which was paid out from Mr Vlahos’ estate in the past five years that had been given for “less than market value”.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr White is the only winner out of this ....he expects the successful punters to hand over their winnings......and in return get 15c in the dollar back.