Serial swindler Peter Foster brought out the big guns – Karl Stefanovic, 60 Minutes and the ABC’s Media Watch – before being granted bail in a Queensland court.
Foster faces a host of charges following his August 2020 arrest in Port Douglas for an alleged $2,000,000 bitcoin fraud.
Foster was released on bail in NSW in March 2021, but was later declared a fugitive by a Sydney court after failing to appear there in May. Foster was detained again in December at a Victorian winery close to Gisborne after six months of being free.
The 59-year old was taken to Queensland and charged with five counts each of fraud, two counts with obtaining or dealing in identification information and one count with falsifying records.
Foster, a long-haired man with a thick beard appeared briefly via videolink in Southport Magistrates Court as his legal team applied for bail. Russell Pearce, Defence Barrister, stated that it was “churlish” to assume there is no chance the “international man in mischief” will not be present in court.
“He probably has dined at times because of his fame,” Mr Pearce stated.
The court was shown a Media Watch report that showed footage from Nine Network showing Foster’s arrest at Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, August 2020. Mr Pearce claimed it was part of a media setup.
He claimed that the Nine and Ken Gamble, a private investigator, orchestrated the incident. He clearly had an interest in promoting his business and was directly credit for “getting his guy”. Christopher Cook, the Crown Prosecutor strongly opposed bail and called the application “simply amazing”.
“He was convicted in four countries of dishonesty offenses and in at least three Australian states.
” He has used 20 various aliases. “
He said Foster represented a “significant danger” to his appearance, interfering in the trial of witnesses and obstructing justice.
Magistrate Janice Crawford granted Foster bail ordering he live with his sister at Mt Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Foster also must wear a tracking device and surrender his passport. He should not enter any airports. The police will be reporting to him three times per week.
Foster’s lawyer Chris Hannay stated that his client spent 12 many months in prison “for nothing”. He planned to fight the charges.
” It was obvious that it was a setup. Drones everywhere and cameras everywhere. He said Foster was delighted to have been granted bail, and that he would be celebrating his freedom on Friday with his family.
“He is clearly happy, and we are happy for him,” he stated.
” It will give him the opportunity to present his case and move on with his life. “
Foster has been remanded in Southport to appear in court again in June.