'Violent' accused fraudster, 74, released on bail despite police objections
Queensland (Ozi Indian Tv Channel) A man accused of defrauding Australians of $1.6 million has been released on bail despite allegations he once gave the order to have someone thrown off a balcony.
Robert Gordon Stewart, 74, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with perjury, money laundering and fraudulently obtaining the funds through an alleged cold-call syndicate with links to the Finks outlaw motorcycle gang.
The court heard he had a lengthy history, but defence solicitor Darren Mahony said the most recent offence dated back to 2001.
Police objected to Mr Stewart's release on bail, alleging he may reoffend, interfere with witnesses or flee.
A plain clothes officer gave evidence where he alleged Stewart's estranged son had once heard his father "order a person be taken care of who was later thrown off a balcony".
The officer went onto say some other people had been hesitant to speak to police because they feared Mr Stewart's "ability to conduct acts of violence".
But Mr Mahony questioned the validity of his allegations, saying some of the information came from Mr Stewart's son, who had an "acrimonious" relationship with his father.
Police have alleged the 74-year-old spent a portion of the defrauded money to buy a $750,000, 70-foot luxury motor yacht.
The court heard it was then allegedly sold at short notice, with the funds funnelled to family members and Mr Stewart's own bank accounts.
The perjury charges allegedly relate to Crime and Corruption Commission hearings that took place after the investigation was launched in June 2016.
Magistrate Elizabeth Hall said although the allegations of violence were of concern to the court, they needed to be "properly assessed".
She agreed to release Mr Stewart on bail on the condition he report to Hendra police station everyday, reside at his Clayfield home, surrender his passport, stay away from international airports and avoid contact with witnesses.
His matter was adjourned until August 22 at Southport Magistrates Court where his matter will be heard alongside his co-accused.