Miss Forum Finance CEO Bill Papas visited Greece to cheer on his team

Last week, Westpac and French Bank Societe Generale filed complaints in Federal Court against Forum Finance, a company run by Mr Papas. Mr. Papas was also on the list of defendants.

the Financial analysis has not been able to reach Mr. Papas despite several attempts since Friday and cannot confirm his whereabouts.

Westpac said in a court file that Mr Papas, who did not show up for a meeting on June 15, had not contacted the bank and “may have disappeared.”

Neither Mr. Papas nor Forum have filed a defense in this case. A case management hearing is scheduled for Friday July 9.

According to documents filed by Westpac in Federal Court on or around May 26, Westpac discovered the alleged fraud during a call with its client WesTrac after identifying an anomaly with a leasing loan on behalf of the company. belonging to the Seven group.

The potential fraud was linked to a portfolio of equipment rentals with Westpac customers which were arranged by Forum and referred to Westpac’s institutional bank.

Westpac has opened investigations into six more of its customers, four of whom told the bank “no [or almost none]”Contractual documents provided to them by Westpac appear to be genuine and” the underlying assets allegedly funded do not exist. “

Other companies cited as Westpac clients in court documents include Coles Supermarkets, Scentre Shopping Center Management, Veolia Environmental Services, ALH Group, Catholic Healthcare and HWL Ebsworth Lawyers.

“Veolia is not responsible and we have not suffered any financial loss. However, we take this matter very seriously and are actively assisting Westpac, Société Générale and the police in their investigations, ”said a spokesperson for Veolia.

A spokesperson for Scentre said: “The Scentre group has not suffered any financial loss and we do not lease any equipment from Forum Finance.

Coles declined to comment as the case is in court.

Westpac documents indicate that the bank contacted Forum and Mr. Papas on June 10 regarding the WestTrac issue. He did not attend a scheduled meeting with Westrac on June 15 “and has since been neither contactable nor seen”. The bank said he last heard of a trip to Perth, but it is not known where he is.

Greek rescue mission

In September 2020, Xanthi FC hired AFC Champions League-winning coach Tony Popovic, former A-League’s Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers, with the aim of returning to the Greek Super League.

However, in February Mr Popovic was surprisingly sacked, despite having won three of their last four games and are four points off the top of the Greek Super League 2 standings.

Xanthi is reportedly set to sign a new manager, Portugal’s Jaime Monroy Zamith, who spent time in 2017 as the coach of Australian Premier League side Sydney Olympic FC, where Mr Papas was manager from February 2016 until last Friday.

Mr Papas resigned as chairman of Sydney Olympic FC on Friday evening, “de facto immediately”. The club could not be reached on Monday or Tuesday to find out if it had been in contact with Mr Papas.

Several attempts to reach the recent Olympic directors in Sydney have not been answered. Following Mr Papas’ resignation, the sole director, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, is Damon Hanlin.

Attempts to reach Mr. Hanlin via Sydney Olympic and his company Titan Cranes were unsuccessful. Mr. Hanlin is also a member of the board of directors of Xanthi FC. There is no indication that Mr. Hanlin was involved in any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, NSW Police have confirmed they have opened an investigation into the fraud allegations.

“Earlier this month, police received an initial report of suspected multi-million dollar fraud against a financial organization,” said an NSW police spokesperson. “An investigation has not yet started. Investigations continue.

Do you know more? Email Max Mason and / or Jonathan Shapiro at [email protected] and [email protected]

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