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VIC: Pretend prince scammed investors for luxury life: court

06 Nov 2008 2:23 PM

MELBOURNE, Nov 6 AAP - A Melbourne man who posed as a wealthy Arabian prince devised a7 million scam and used investor funds to buy himself a racehorse and luxury cars.

Omar Jihad Yusuf, 40, even had an Australia Post postage stamp designed with his supposed royal picture in a bid to appear more credible to his employees, the Victorian Supreme Court heard.

Yusuf, of Roxburgh Park, today pleaded guilty to 126 charges of fraudulent conduct relating to his transport business, On The Go Transport.

Prosecutor Peter Rose SC told the pre-sentence hearing Yusuf sought investors to raise capital to buy trucks for the business and obtained significantsums of investor money.

But the father-of-five used some of the funds for himself, splurging on luxuries including Ferrari and BMW cars and a55,000 racehorse.

Mr Rose said Yusuf posed as a man of wealth to lure investors, claiming in an interview with a Turkish newspaper he owned 865 trucks, three banks and three islands in Australia.

He also claimed to own a40 million house in Brighton, two private planes,five Ferraris and three Mercedes cars.

Defence lawyer Robert Richter QC said Yusuf was diagnosed with narcissisticpersonality disorder, was of low to average intelligence and lived in a fantasy world in which he had decided to build an empire.

Yusuf had accepted responsibility and was sorry for his actions, he said.

The case will return to court at a date to be fixed.

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