Entity at center of staggering $ 400 million fraud allegations “open for business”

Forum Group, the entity at the center of an alleged $ 400 million fraud against Westpac, is seeking new clients to bolster new business, after being sold by the administration last week to Bill Papas’ cousin Eric Constantinidis .

Forum Group, the employer entity of Mr. Papas’ Forum Finance, which sells technology and other products to small businesses, has sent six emails to potential clients in the past two weeks in an attempt to bolster deals.

The emails promoting Forum’s businesses came at a time when the company was undergoing major layoffs and staff said it was owed large sums of money.

The most recent email sent last Friday said, “I would like one of our desktop solutions experts to come see you and talk to you about the challenges your business is facing and how Forum can help you. improve your business. “

The Forum Group website has remained online since it was revealed the company was at the center of an alleged $ 400 million fraud against Australia’s second largest bank. The website initially featured an affirmative review of a Sydney concrete company, which was later deleted after the owners of the company hired lawyers.

A source from the concrete company, who declined to be named, said Forum had not asked for permission to use its company name on the website and although the service was “professional,” he didn’t want his business to be linked to fraud. allegations.

In the meantime, Westpac has obtained freezing orders from the Federal Court and is attempting to locate and seize any property Mr. Papas may own around the world.

It is understood that its assets are estimated at over $ 40 million, including luxury homes in New South Wales, Victoria and Greece, a portfolio of gas stations and a race car worth over $ 630,000.

There is no clear sign that Mr Papas would be back in Sydney anytime soon. Mr Papas, who was due to return to Australia to appear in court earlier this month, remains in Greece after his lawyer told Federal Court he had contracted COVID-19.

At the July 15 hearing, the Sydney businessman and football personality was criticized by Judge Lee for his continued absence and failure to follow court instructions to list his assets and liabilities in within the framework of freezing orders.

“I made two orders,” the judge said. “I don’t make orders just because they can be treated like traffic lights in Athens. I want them to be respected.

Mr. Papas has not yet filed a defense or contested any of the allegations against him.

Jennifer C. Burleigh

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