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Lost wallet led to arrest of identity fraudster

Image of faceless hooded man

The discovery of a lost wallet at a fast food outlet led to a law enforcement operation that uncovered several cases of identity fraud. The wallet contained several different forms of identification, all featuring different names but bearing a photograph of the same individual.

Investigating officers established that the suspect maintained several false identities, while the suspect’s wife possessed a false drivers licence.

It was established that the suspect had been using the names of real people to create some of his false identities, although it was never established if these people were complicit in the suspect’s fraudulent activities.

AUSTRAC information included seven suspicious matter reports (SMRs) linked to the suspect, although it was impossible to differentiate between transactions undertaken by a suspect while using false identification and legitimate transactions undertaken by the actual identity holders. Six of the SMRs detailed the suspect’s suspicious behaviour at gambling venues, including:

  • cashing out gambling chips worth a total of AUD89,000 in structured amounts below the AUD10,000 cash transaction threshold
  • a reluctance to provide identification at gambling venues.

The SMRs also suggested that the suspect had used some of his various aliases to conduct these gambling activities.

AUSTRAC information also showed that, over a one-year period, the suspect had made a number of significant cash withdrawals from a bank account, totalling AUD620,000.

During the same period, the suspect sent a number of international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs), primarily to India and China, totalling AUD103,000.

The suspect was ultimately charged with identity fraud and with using accounts made out in false names.

Offence Fraud
Customer Individual
  • Banking (ADIs)
  • Gambling
Channel Physical
Report type
  • IFTI
  • SCTR
  • SMR
Jurisdiction International – China, India
Designated service
  • Account and deposit-taking services
  • Gambling services
  • High-value international funds transfers to/from Australia with no apparent logical reason
  • Use of false identification to conduct transactions
  • Structuring of cash transactions
  • Unusual customer behaviour at a casino
  • Refusal to show identification
Last modified: 30/07/2015 15:43