Bitcoin millionaire’s exes set to be stripped of cars, cash
TWO glamorous young Queensland women face being stripped of extravagances an ex-boyfriend lavished on them after police allege it was bought with tainted laundered money.
The women are linked to an alleged money launderer, Benjamin Thomas Nelson, who has a purported $10m bitcoin fortune.
Instagram influencer Tori Maddison Preiss, 25, from Caloundra West is facing the loss of her $75,000 black Audi A5 cabriolet that the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) alleges was bought with "dirty" Bitcoin, suspected to be from drug sales or other illegal activity.
Ms Preiss is also facing a bid to freeze cash in four bank accounts in her name, including one account which received $220,000 from a Bitcoin account, plus a $100,000 term deposit, in moves made under laws aimed at stripping assets from alleged criminals, even before they are convicted of any crimes.
She has not been charged with any crimes, but in a rare move is alleged to have held assets belonging to Nelson, who the CCC claims is a suspected money launderer.
Details of the bid by the CCC to seize assets from Mr Nelson and his associates were revealed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane last week.
The CCC says Nelson made statements that he didn't want certain assets in his name because "police were after him" and "he was worried the police would know".
CCC Proceeds of Crime director Sharon Raabe alleges in her affidavit that a Lamborghini Huracan performance coupe purchased for $637,800 from a Brisbane dealership on October 14, 2019 and several Bitcoin accounts, bank accounts containing more than $140,000 and a $745,000 Pimpama home are "tainted property" purchased with laundered money.
The purple Lamborghini was paid for in Bitcoins and registered in the name of Mr Nelson's former girlfriend, Kaori Celine Nakase 24, a former barmaid from New Farm.
A four bedroom Pimpama Ms Nakase jointly owns with Mr Nelson has been restrained under proceeds of crime laws, meaning they can still live there but cannot sell the home without permission.
The CCC alleges the house was bought outright in November 2019 "using a deliberately complex series of transactions" which the CCC suspects was to avoid law enforcement detection.
Nelson, who the CCC alleges has earned less than $40,000 as an IT worker, went on spending sprees at designer boutiques.
Bank statements tendered in court show that on a single day in November 2019 he spent $6000 at Gucci Broadbeach, $3025 at Harrolds Gold Coast and $11,400 at Louis Vuitton Broadbeach.
A month later Nelson is alleged to have splashed $2000 at Givenchy, $3000 at Prada in Pacific Fair, $5220 at David Jones Broadbeach and $13,0000 at Wallace Bishop jeweller.
On Thursday Justice Frances Williams ordered Nelson reveal a list of all his assets worth $5000 currently owned and those owned in the past six years. He has two months to comply.
Nakase has 21 days to list her assets worth $5000 or more.
In the District Court in June Nakase was convicted of receiving tainted property in relation to the Lamborghini, as well as receiving the Pimpama home when it was suspected of bring the proceeds of an offence, two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice and driving the Lamborghini while on drugs.
Nelson has been charged with attempting to possess a drug.
Sunshine Coast taxi driver Peter Robert Wood, from Ninderry, has also been targeted as part of the CCC case. He is suspected to have laundered money and is alleged to have owned a Bitcoin account which has transferred $1.6m worth of the currency in the past two years.
Wood has not been charged with any offences in relation to this case.
Nakase's 2018 declared taxable income was $3793 in government pension payments, court records show.
In 2016, she declared income of $2464 as a bartender, in 2015 she declared $11,040 as a bartender, and in 2014 she declared income of $5122 in government payments.
The CCC alleges that Nakase, Nelson and Mr Wood's taxable income cant support the purchase of their assets.
The CCC suspects Mr Wood was holding the Bitcoin on behalf of Nelson.
Ms Preiss was named as an interested party in the case. Her name was called at court and she did not appear.
The case is due to return to court on Friday.
Originally published as Bitcoin millionaire's glam exes set to be stripped of cars, cash