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Australian Big Bettor Charged with Fraud

26 September 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the (Australia) Daily Telegraph: "The man known as the `Sports Bag Punter' was yesterday charged with a further 43 fraud offences totalling more than $2.2 million (US$1.19 million).

"Thomas Douglas Watkins appeared in Parramatta Local Court on two counts of stealing money as a clerk and 43 charges of defrauding the company where he worked as a financial controller.

"Charge sheets allege Watkins defrauded Tasman K.B. Pty Ltd of more than $2 million from July, 1999, to April, 2002.

"According to the charge, Watkins drew company cheques then presented them at the bank to himself.

"The court heard he disguised the discrepancies by altering the business records of the company.

"…Watkins was arrested at his Carlingford home on July 16 this year. At that time he was charged with two counts of stealing property as a clerk/servant.

"Papers before the court said Watkins duties at Tasman K.B. Pty Ltd included supervising staff, security and account processing.

"As the financial controller of the company he had the sole responsibility for payment of invoices.

"…Mr Watkins became known at the races for his big cash bets and for carrying tens of thousands of dollars in a black sports bag.

"There is no suggestion his gambling is related to the fraud charges he faces…"

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