Melbourne businessman Demetrios ‘James’ Charisiou jailed over $395 million fraud

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Melbourne businessman Demetrios ‘James’ Charisiou has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for an elaborate fraud scheme that took $395 million from Korean investors.

According to Nine News, 63-year-old Charisiou duped two Korean-based firms into giving his company LBA Capital $394,740,000 in credit under the guise of investing the money into properties supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Melbourne.

None of the properties were purchased and most of the money sat in an account.

In November 2023, Charisiou pleaded guilty to two counts of using false documents and two counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

His legal team argued that his was a “hare-brained scheme” caused by a severe deterioration in his mental health.

victoria supreme court

Victorian Supreme Court judge John Champion handed down his sentence on Friday, May 24, and found Charisiou guilty of obtaining financial advantage through deception and using fake documents to do so.

Justice Champion said he was unable to accept that Charisiou had found himself out of his depths in negotiating the deals.

Justice Champion said while Charisiou was unlikely to reoffend, there was a risk he remained driven by his ego and “illusions of grandiosity.”

The judge sentenced Charisiou to 12 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of eight years. The 63-year-old has already spent more than 190 days behind bars.

Source: Nine News

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