Veteran Queensland criminal lawyer Michael Bosscher is one of two men charged this morning by Australian Federal Police (AFP) for their alleged involvement in a $4.5 million money laundering ring.
The AFP today released a statement saying two men had been arrested and released official AFP-compiled video footage of Mr Bosscher being taken into custody. Other AFP images show cash and a safe secreted below a step of an internal staircase of a Brisbane premises.
Mr Bosscher made a brief appearance in Brisbane’s Roma Street Magistrates Arrest Court for mention of the freshly laid charges and was granted conditional bail.
He is charged with conspiring to deal in the proceeds of general crime, and – at the time of dealing – the value of the money or property was $1,000,000 or more, contrary to sections 11.5 and 400.3 (1B) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), respectively.
The bail conditions include twice weekly reporting to police, residential conditions and a ban from contacting his co-accused or a number of people involved in the investigation. A ban from using encrypted digital applications and/or devices was also imposed.
An AFP statement said: “Police arrested and charged a Helensvale man, 67, yesterday (24 October 2022) and a Graceville man, 53, today (25 October 2022) following an AFP investigation that began in February 2022.
“It will be alleged a Helensvale man used personal information from clients to his consultancy business to open fraudulent bank accounts. The accounts were opened in the name of some of his clients believed to be without their knowledge.
“The Graceville man (Mr Bosscher) allegedly supplied millions of dollars of funds that is the suspected proceeds of crime to be deposited into the accounts in an effort to avoid detection by authorities.
“Investigators executed search warrants at addresses in Helensvale, Graceville, Bardon and Brisbane City yesterday as part of the investigation.
The AFP said investigators seized $70,000 cash from two safes that were hidden under stairs and a cash counter at a Bardon premises, while $160,000 cash was seized from a safe at the home of the Helensvale man.
They also seized a number of mobile phones for further forensic examination.
The Helensvale man, 67, fronted the Southport Magistrates Court today (25 October 2022) charged with conspiring to deal in the proceeds of general crime and at the time of dealing the value of the money or property was $1,000,000 or more, contrary to section 400.3(1B) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and section 11.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for the offence is 25 years’ imprisonment.
The Helensvale man has also been charged with 29 counts of conducting transactions so as to avoid reporting requirements relating to threshold transactions, contrary to section 141(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ imprisonment.
AFP Acting Commander Investigations Northern Command Adrian Telfer said the AFP was committed to dismantling money laundering enterprises that enabled organised criminal activity.
“Money laundering is the backbone of organised crime,” Acting Commander Telfer said. “Money is the sole reason organised crime exists and taking away their ill-gotten wealth is a key priority for the AFP.
“We will continue to target the structures that enable organised crime to hide their wealth and can’t rule out more arrests as our investigators follow the money.”