Monstr founder behind sophisticated luxury car fraud
Monstr Clothing founder Shane Ross has narrowly avoided a full-time jail sentence after being convicted for his role in a sophisticated fraud operation which police suspect has been funding organised crime across the country.
The 36-year-old Gold Coast man was a major player in the criminal syndicate which sourced luxury cars from across NSW and Queensland.
Bogus documents were used to secure loans for a fleet of luxury vehicles, including Mercedes Benz AMG, Holden Commodore GTS and Holden HSV Club Sport, before onselling them for profit.
Pay slips, rates notices and driver's licences were created for non-existent people, ripping off financial institutions by about $4.5 million since 2014 police allege.
One of the cars obtained through the syndicate, a 2016 Ford Ranger 4WD worth $71,000, was found by police at Ross' Coomera home with a Monstr sign on it last June.
In February 2017 police sighted Ross driving the car, which had been fraudulently bought in Parramatta, with Monstr business manager Scott Stoneman using it as his work vehicle for six months.
Stoneman has already been convicted for his role in the syndicate.
Ross, supported in court by his glamorous wife, pleaded guilty to three counts of dealing with the property proceeds of crime and dishonestly obtain property by deception. The property being a 2014 Holden VF Commodore GTS and 2015 Mercedes Benz AMG respectively.
Ross' lawyer, who was at one time scolded by Magistrate Ian Guy, told the court that despite the guilty plea, his client didn't believe he was committing a criminal offence but had rather discovered a "loophole".
Mr Guy described the syndicate as a "sophisticated operation", with Ross a leading player.
"His role was a significant one," he said. "He was able to obtain the vehicles for himself and his business for less than market value."
The magistrate said he didn't accept Ross had any remorse for his actions.
He was convicted and placed on an Intensive Corrections Order for 18 months.
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Another player in the scheme, 37-year-old Ricky Lee Syned, was also sentenced and placed on an 18-month Community Correction Order.
Macquarie Fields panelbeater Hilal Merhi and Sans Souci man Mohamad Alameddine were sentenced for their roles in the syndicate last month.