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Bill Vlahos jailed for defrauding punters of $17.5 million

His victims included friends, family members, other acquaintances and even a former babysitter to his children. They believed his knack of knowing the racing game and invested, but the money they lost has never been repaid.

Some victims lost houses and life savings, Judge Trapnell said, while one man who invested $800,000 lost all his assets and now had nothing to his name as he approached retirement age.

The impact of the financial losses left some feeling stupid and naive, others angry and many regretful for recruiting others. Some were later diagnosed with mental health problems, others reported lost friendships and a strain on family relationships, while the emotional and financial toll ended several marriages.

Judge Trapnell said Vlahos’ deceptions and persistent offending – which continued into 2013 even though his scheme was near collapse and police were investigating – had a devastating and traumatic impact on many.

“I assess your moral culpability as being very high,” he told the 56-year-old, who watched the online sentence from prison.

“It is clear you must have known the impact your offending would have on the victims.

“Yet you continued your deceptive scheme unrelenting and unrepentant. The audaciousness of your behaviour is breathtaking.”

Vlahos splurged some money invested in The Edge on a $165,000 holiday house in Torquay, a $30,000 jacuzzi, a $71,000 Audi and a $150,000 Lexus, and first-class holidays to Singapore and Dubai. He also used…

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