Alleged Qld fraudster, 74, let out on bail

A 74-year-old man is accused of making almost $1 million through a fraudulent cold-call syndicate.

A 74-year-old man is accused of making almost $1 million through a fraudulent cold-call syndicate.

A man accused of defrauding Australians of $1.6m 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, extortion, 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 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 heard his father "order a person be taken care of who was later thrown off a balcony".

The officer went onto say some witnesses had been hesitant to speak to police because they feared Stewart's "ability to conduct acts of violence".

But Mr Mahony questioned the validity of his allegations, saying some of the information came from Stewart's son who had an "acrimonious" relationship with his father.

Police have alleged the 74-year-old dishonestly received about $950,000 for himself through the scam, a portion of which was spent buying a $750,000, 70-foot luxury motor yacht.

The court heard it was later then allegedly sold at short notice, with the funds funnelled to family members and his own bank accounts.

Stewart has also been charged with a second count of fraud that relates to allegations he "induced" other people to deliver $1.6m to two companies of which he was a director or member of the governing body.

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 him 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, where his matter will be heard alongside his co-accused.

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