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Eddie Hayson, Kieran and Liam Foran, under scrutiny over NRL betting plunge
Kate McClymont, Nick McKenzie
A third rugby league match is being scrutinised by police and the NRL integrity unit after the emergence of an extraordinary betting trail linking organised crime figures, associates of chronic gambler Eddie Hayson and football playing brothers Kieran and Liam Foran.
Some of the winnings from a successful plunge on the match in question, in which Kieran Foran played, ended up in the TAB accounts of the Foran brothers.
The Parramatta Eels beat the Manly Sea Eagles with three tries in the final 12 minutes of play at Brookvale Oval on 14 April 2016.
At 8pm on April 14 this year, Parramatta captain Kieran Foran led his team onto the field at Manly's Brookvale Oval.
Half an hour before kick-off $18,000 in cash was wagered on the Eels to beat Manly by more than five points. The wager was made at the Breakers Country Club at Wamberal on the Central Coast.
Although there are no CCTV cameras in that TAB, three minutes earlier Frank Farrugia, who lives less than five minutes away at Terrigal, signed into the club.
Farrugia, a man with links to outlaw bikie gangs, is close friends with Kieran and Liam Foran. Farrugia is also a close associate of Hayson, a former brothel owner and major punter who owes millions of dollars to a raft of characters including drug dealers, footballers, jockeys, boxers, family, friends and a convicted murderer.
With 10 minutes to go Manly were ahead 10-8. But in the dying minutes of the match Parramatta scored three quick tries, running out 22-10 victors.
The betting forays of Hayson and friend disgraced jockey Danny Nikolic are already under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities.
When Fairfax Media revealed in June that Hayson had instructed a jockey to bet $120,000 on the outcome of a 2015 Souths v Manly match, which is also under scrutiny, Hayson subsequently admitted he transferred $100,000 to Nikolic last year to bet on an NRL match on his behalf. He said Nikolic added $20,000 of his own to the wager.
However, Hayson told News Corp that he had checked with Nikolic and "is adamant the money was not gambled on either of the two matches under scrutiny," the report said.
Fairfax Media can reveal that over the past 12 months, Hayson has used the TAB accounts of many associates to disguise his betting activities. One account which has piqued the interest of authorities is the TAB account of Nikolic's girlfriend, Tania Hyett, who worked at a Victorian racing stable.
On April 13, the day before the Parramatta v Manly match, Hayson sought – unsuccessfully - to have his TAB account re-activated having been banned on February 11 for suspected money laundering.
According to footage obtained by Fairfax Media, two days before he was banned Hayson was seen ploughing $19,000 cash through the TAB machine at the V Bar in Liverpool Street in Sydney. The payments were made in two lots of $9500.
On February 16, five days after he was banned, Hayson and Farrugia were seen at Erina TAB.
The payout for the $18,000 wager on the Parramatta win was $41,400 and authorities believe that Farrugia collected the winnings at Tuggerah TAB. The winnings were divided into five vouchers.
On Wednesday May 4, Jordan Tulk, a 21-year-old associate of the Forans and Farrugia, redeemed the five vouchers worth $41,400 which had been won on the football match.
Later that afternoon Tulk, from Umina, plunged the entire amount on a gelding running in the last race on the Sunshine Coast. Brazen, which firmed to favouritism on the NSW TAB, won the Butler McDermott Lawyers handicap reaping a massive $95,220.
On that same Wednesday night, May 4, Liam Foran was given the winning $95,220 ticket and he cashed it in at Gosford's Central Coast Leagues Club.
Liam Foran, who works as an assistant to Hayson, received $22,000 in cash and a $73,220 voucher.
He then deposited $2000 in cash into his brother Kieran's TAB account. This is contrary to the TAB terms and conditions which only allows the account holder to access their account. By this time Kieran Foran was in a rehab clinic in Brisbane having been admitted on April 29. Three days earlier Foran's career had come to a devastating halt when he was admitted to hospital. Foran recently claimed he had overdosed on left-over pain killers.
Football staff at Parramatta had been growing increasingly anxious about Foran's betting and his association with Hayson. On Anzac day their star recruit skipped a team community event to attend Gosford races with his brother, Hayson and others.
In a recent interview with Daily Telegraph journalist Phil "Buzz" Rothfield, Rothfield, who has had thousands of dollars paid into his own TAB account by Hayson, quoted Foran saying Hayson was one of his most loyal friends and someone who he had leaned on heavily over the last three of four months.
In the interview Foran also talked openly about enjoying a bet but claimed his gambling was under control. Those who know him well suggest otherwise.
Armed with the $73,220 voucher from their winnings on Brazen, that same night Liam Foran drove from the Central Coast to Canterbury Leagues Club in Belmore in Sydney's southwest. Around 9pm he cashed it in taking $10,000 in cash and the remainder in another voucher.
He then walked to the nearby Belmore TAB to turn his $63,220 voucher into 10 vouchers worth $6000 each plus $3220 in cash.
The following day all 10 vouchers were redeemed. Three of them – totalling $18,000 – were redeemed at Star Casino by a friend of Hayson's from Mosman. Hayson has previously put money into the businessman's TAB account.
A Surfers Paradise man and a Bankstown tow-truck driver redeemed a voucher each at the Bankstown Sports Club. The other vouchers were redeemed by unknown people at TABs at Punchbowl, Lidcombe and the Red Lantern hotel.
Comment is being sought from the Forans, Farrugia and Tulk. Hayson declined to comment.
The NSW Organised Crime Squad is assessing massive amounts of TAB data as part of its inquiry into existing match-fixing allegations which has embroiled the NRL.
For years sporting officials have been concerned about the former brothel owner and big-time punter's connections with leading sporting figures.