Police have charged one of Queensland’s biggest punters in one of the largest cases of gambling-related fraud in Australian history.
- Police alleged Paul Montgomery used multiple bank accounts to transfer money from RDS
- Mr Montgomery is considered one of Queensland’s biggest gamblers
- He is facing court on a fraud-related charge involving $10 million
Police allege Paul John Montgomery stole more than $10 million from the bank accounts of the family-run civil engineering firm RDS from 2007 to 2017.
The son of a Toowoomba horse trainer, Mr Montgomery was first employed by RDS in 2004 and was a friend of the Gurney family, who have owned and operated the company since 1969.
Police alleged the 55-year-old used multiple bank accounts to transfer money from the family business into his own personal accounts.
He appeared briefly in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with one count of fraud.
“It will be alleged that these funds were then used to fund gambling, purchases of property and personal and lifestyle expenses,” Detective Senior Constable John Shilton told a media conference in Brisbane on Thursday.
When asked by the ABC how many betting agencies Mr Montgomery had allegedly transferred money into, Detective Shilton confirmed he was “gambling with multiple agencies”.
ABC Investigations has discovered Mr Montgomery was a VIP customer with a number of betting agencies and was enticed to keep gambling through various forms of corporate hospitality, including high-end tickets to State of Origin games and big race meetings such as the Cox Plate.
VIP clients are a key source of betting-industry profits. The UK gambling regulator found one major betting agency took more than 80 per cent of its deposits from its VIPs — who comprised just 2 per cent of its customer base.
Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett would not rule out the possibility that the role of the betting agencies in this case could also be investigated.
“Obviously, this matter still has to go through the courts and it’s all allegations at this point. But those investigation inquiries will continue.”
‘I am feeling relieved’
Wayne Gurney is one of five brothers who owns and runs RDS.
When he heard this morning that his former general manager had been arrested and charged with fraud, he was on the way to supervise the laying of new footpaths on a housing estate south of Brisbane.
“How am I feeling? I am feeling relieved,” he said.
Mr Gurney told the ABC he and his brothers had had a tough few years, but that the business was bouncing back.
“Since that time, we’ve enacted measures to stabilise and grow the business and we have appreciated the continued support of our employees, clients and suppliers.”
Mr Montgomery was released on bail and was due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 7.
His lawyer, Leigh Rollason, was contacted by the ABC but declined to comment.