A Melbourne musician has faced court accused of scamming wannabe property investors of millions of dollars over more than a decade.
Craig Graham Heath made his first appearance in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after police raided a home in Melbourne’s southeast last week.
The arrest came just less than two weeks after detectives revealed they were searching for the 51-year-old and believed he had “now turned his sights on single women”.
“It’s believed the man is trying to befriend single women in the Malvern East area in an effort to convince them to invest in construction projects he is involved in,” a Victoria Police spokesman said on January 21.
The country music singer was subsequently charged with 35 fraud offences, with police alleging the wannabe investors were fleeced of at least $8.7m.
Mr Heath appeared in court remotely, remaining silent as lawyer Tam McLaughlin addressed the court on his behalf.
Police will allege Mr Heath approached homeowners in Melbourne offering to knock down homes and build townhouses in their place.
It’s alleged that after the homeowners handed over the money needed to build the townhouses, the property was sold off to other investors.
Mr Heath would then allegedly cut contact, walking off with the funds from both parties.
It’s alleged 15 people had been ripped off by the scam, first reported to police in 2011, each losing between $20,000 and $2.1m.
The court was told prosecutors required “additional time” to prepare their case against Mr Heath and the matter was adjourned for four months.
Mr Heath’s bail was extended until he returns to court on June 13.
Read related topics:Melbourne