Alleged Fraudster Moved $8M Through Crown Casino

Alleged fraudster Michael Gu put $8 million of clients'money through Crown Melbourne

An alleged fraudster moved $8 million of clients’ money through Crown’s Melbourne casino. The latest in a long line of damning revelations resulted in Crown Resorts calling for an immediate inquiry into how the transactions went under the radar.

Michael Gu ran what investors believed was a highly profitable property company. It appears Mr Gu was nothing more than a corporate fraudster. Mr Gu was the head of iProsperity property group, valued at $600 million. He lived a lavish lifestyle, including driving a top-of-the-range Lamborghini, but fled Australia last August with his company $325 million in the red.

Cor Cordis are the liquidators tasked with sorting out the financial mess left by the alleged fraudster. Cor Cordis’ recent report to creditors informed them at least $8 million of their funds was sent to a casino. Either Mr Gu or his business partner made the transactions between August 2014 and May 2017. Sources in the Australian national press confirm Crown Melbourne is the casino mentioned in the report.

$8 million made its way from the company accounts of iProsperity to Crown Melbourne. It is unknown whether Mr Gu withdrew the cash or used it for gambling. Regardless, sources familiar with the transactions state they have all the hallmarks of money laundering.

Crown Quizzed Why Fraudster Transactions Went Unnoticed

There are rules in place to detect criminal activity, especially money laundering. For example, casinos must report transactions of $10,000 or greater to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

It is difficult to believe Mr Gu or his accomplice made 800 transactions of $9,999 to move the $8 million while avoiding AUSTRAC detection. Even if they did, why did Crown not pick up on this because it smacks of money laundering?

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald sent questions to Crown asking why Crown did not report the fraudster dealings to the ongoing royal commission. Crown responded via a statement.

“We are treating this matter seriously and have immediately launched an investigation into the allegations. Crown will ensure regulators, the royal commissions, and other relevant authorities are informed and updated as required.”

Who Is Michael Gu?

Michael Gu is a 32-year-old owner of iProsperity Group who looks to be more of a fraudster than a businessman. He lived in a $10 million home above Balmoral Beach with his wife, Cherry. Nothing seemed amiss until Mr Gu’s garage became so full with supercars that he left his Lamborghini Urus ($430,000) and Bentley Bentayga ($420,000) parked on the street.

Mr Gu, his wife, and his fleet of luxurious cars disappeared in July 2020 with his company owing $325 million. Sources suggest Mr Gu fled to Los Angeles via New Zealand where the fraudster lives a life of luxury at others’ expense.

Company records show Mr Gu took out $21 million in loans using company money in the run-up to his sudden departure. Mr Gu also spent $1 million to purchase Vanuatu passports using the Pacific Island nation’s visa program. Additional money went on buying luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce Wraith ($650,000).

Sydney was where iProsperity had its headquarters, but it also had a large Melbourne office. The fraudster was one of the biggest players in Australia’s investor visa scheme, which is popular with wealthy Chinese nationals.

Some of those Chinese people are angry with Mr Gu judging by how they daubed his home with graffiti reading “pay money back.” We would not like to be Mr Gu’s if the people he has ripped off are linked to Triad activity.

The Australian press liken Mr Gu to a modern-day Christopher Skase. Mr Skase fled Australia in 1991 after the fraudster ran up debts of $700 million. He moved to Majorca, Spain, where he became one of the most wanted fugitives in modern times.

Mr Skase avoided extradition to Australia but died a wanted man in August 2001.