Four Gold Coast scammers ran a cold and heartless enterprise selling ineffective sports betting and investment software, fleecing victims of their savings and superannuation.
Aaron Colin East, his brother Daniel Alan East and Stiofan Ceitinn have admitted to two counts of fraud, while co-accused Theresa Faye Merlehan pleaded guilty to one fraud charge.
The four planned the cold-call scam in a systematic and thorough fashion, crown prosecutor Greg Cummings told a Brisbane District Court sentencing hearing on Monday.
It was a “cold and heartless enterprise” that took from vulnerable people with no prospect of them getting their money back, he said.
The court heard the three men each made up to $300,000 through the scheme.
The scammers compiled an 80-page “spiel book” for sales employees, anticipating questions about the software being sold.
Call centre staff used false names and at times pretended to be in an office in Adelaide that did not exist.
They said potential customers could make $60,000 to $80,000 a year by spending up to 15 minutes a week using software. But this was “complete fiction”, according to the prosecution.
Mr Cummings said there was no altruistic motivation for the fraud. Their desire to make money was at the heart of the scheme.
Some victims lost their superannuation, some their savings and “some if not all all lost their self-esteem”, he said.
The hearing continues.