Accused fraud ‘mastermind’ to remain behind bars

AN ACCUSED "mastermind" fraudster, who allegedly swindled about $1.3m from 32 people, including Stanthorpe, Kingaroy and Toowoomba residents, has lost his bid to be released from jail.

Brian John Kelly applied for bail in Brisbane Supreme Court in the hope he could live at a drug rehabilitation centre for six months.

He offered $50,000 surety, but Justice Martin Burns said it was too risky.

The court heard Mr Kelly allegedly made unsolicited calls to Queensland residents and offered investment opportunities.

The court also heard many of the alleged victims were middle aged and approaching retirement.

Justice Burns said Mr Kelly was considered the "mastermind" of the operation and had about 12 people working for him in the fraud ring, which allegedly operated between April 2013 and February 2014.

Mr Kelly has been charged with 11 offences, including money laundering, aggravated fraud, impersonation, possessing tainted property and possessing drugs.

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He has been in jail since February last year.

Prosecutor Paula Price opposed bail because Mr Kelly was at risk of re-offending, she said.

She said his past had shown he did not comply with bail conditions, as he was on bail for similar fraud offences from Victoria when he allegedly committed fraud in Queensland.

The court heard he made $107,600 from defrauding about nine people in Victoria, which he has pleaded guilty to.

The court also heard he allegedly committed fraud to fund his meth and cocaine drug habit.

Justice Burns said in balancing all of the factors, Mr Kelly was at risk of re-offending and was refused bail.

- APN NEWSDESK


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