July 02, 2018

Bankrupt bikie wins $1.3 million lotto jackpot – in jail

An associate of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang appears to be the lucky winner of a $1.33 million lotto jackpot, despite being held in a South Australian prison over his alleged involvement in a $270 million drug-smuggling operation.


In a bizarre coincidence, Reginald “Reg” Roberts was bankrupt at the time he received the massive windfall, which was deposited into his bank account, then transferred almost immediately.


The 64-year-old, who lists his occupation as “truck driver”, was arrested and charged in February over a 313-kilogram shipment of crystal methamphetamine (link is external) – known as ice – concealed inside a crane imported to Adelaide on a cargo ship. He has been in custody since his arrest.


Yet the $1.33 million payout for the lotto win was deposited in a bank account in Roberts’ name in early April and then removed only days later. Fairfax Media understands the transaction has been flagged as suspicious by Australian Federal Police investigators who had arrested Roberts as part of Operation Almanon, which intercepted what was the largest ice importation in South Australian history.


Roberts has been bankrupt since May 2015 and had only a month left before his three-year bankruptcy term ended in May 2018 when the money landed in his account. It is unclear where the lotto money has gone, but Fairfax Media does not suggest the win is linked to any criminal activity.
A man who answered a mobile phone linked to Roberts declined to answer questions about the transaction involving the truck driver's account.
“Reg didn’t win it,” he said before hanging up.


It is not known how Roberts purchased the ticket, but there is nothing to legally preclude a lottery company from paying out a prisoner.


The lotto payout is approaching the amount Roberts was ordered to pay the Australian Taxation Office in 2015 (link is external) – $1.5 million – after being caught orchestrating a diesel fuel rebate scam involving trucking companies linked to the Hells Angels.


Despite an investigation by the AFP, Roberts was never charged over the rebate scam, which was traced to an accounting firm in regional Victoria owned for several years by Melbourne Hells Angels boss Peter "Skitzo" Hewat.


The ATO linked Roberts to Mr Hewat and the Victorian Hells Angels through the Victorian accountancy business, which he once owned and whose premises were used as a mailing address for a company alleged to have been controlled by Roberts through an alias.

Under bankruptcy provisions set down by the Australian Financial Security Authority, Roberts is obliged to inform the trustee or ATO of any lottery winnings.
"You must declare any assets you have when you apply for, and any you receive during, bankruptcy. There are penalties for not disclosing information to your trustee," according to the AFSA website.


Australia - BN.

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