A 60-year-old man who allegedly conned five people out of more than $500,000 by asking them to invest in phony renewable energy machines has been charged with 16 counts of fraud.
The man, who was based in Caversham, allegedly told potential investors he had invented three machines that would generate renewable energy and millions, if not billions, of dollars in revenue.
Between 2011 and this year, the man showed investors prototypes of a gravity machine that was to use perpetual energy to generate power, as well as a vacuum engine designed to run on the suction of air.
He also showed 3-D designs and pamphlets for an aqua vapour that he claimed worked like a desalination plant and could purify salty or muddy water.
Police allege he told investors he needed money to register patents on the inventions in Australia and around the world and had already signed international deals with big companies and governments.