“Investigations revealed a man operating from NSW had allegedly received more than $2.8 million dollars from 14 would-be investors – many of them retirees – before [allegedly] funnelling the money into bitcoin, between March and August this year,” a NSW Police statement said.

The would-be investors claimed to police they were duped into investing in fake bonds, mainly through self-managed super funds, by online operators allegedly posing as trusted financial institutions.

Mr Ayoub was charged with 13 counts of obtaining benefit by deception and 13 counts of reckless deal within the proceeds of crime. He did not apply for bail when he appeared at the Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.

According to his public LinkedIn profile, Mr Ayoub, a US national, was educated in Florida and has worked previously for a company based in Hong Kong.

One alleged victim was contacted on Friday by police following Mr Ayoub’s arrest. The would-be investor says they invested in the faked Nomura high-yield bond after entering details into a comparison site and depositing funds into an account at a major Australian bank.

Representatives of the financial institutions are aware of further police investigations relating to similar allegations by investors.

This type of alleged investment scam was first revealed by The Australian Financial Review after a fake prospectus for an IFM high-yield bond fund was circulated to investors. That was the first of many doctored documents involving well known…

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