Westpac accuses Forum and Papas of 100 frauds

PHOTO: Forum Group CEO Bill Papas [left] announcing the partnership between his waste company iugus and Liverpool Football Club. 

Westpac alleges colourful soccer identity Bill Papas and his company Forum Finance orchestrated more than 100 allegedly fraudulent transactions that siphoned off over $340 million from the bank during a near three-year period.

The details of the extent of Mr Papas’s fraud were detailed in a statement of claim filed by the bank this week against Mr Papas, his business partner Vincenzo Tesoriero, Forum Finance and its related companies that was obtained by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 292-page document details Westpac’s allegations against Mr Papas and his companies. The bank alleges that from September 2019 until June 2021 the Forum entities received $341 million through more than 100 transactions.

Sydney-based Forum Finance allegedly used false invoices and forged signatures to obtain Westpac loans without the consent of at least seven of the major bank’s corporate clients. Westpac has pursued legal action to have the company liquidated in the hope of recouping losses.

This masthead last week revealed that at least $40 million was spent by the Forum directors in Australia on buying luxury property in Melbourne and NSW’s Central Coast, as well as on a portfolio of petrol stations in small Victorian towns.