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The Ponzi scheme fallout is underway

What do you get when you have a individual fronting a Ponzi scheme with anywhere between $200-500m in funds that have disappeared, links to Melbourne's underworld and potentially thousands of investors who have lost anywhere from a week's takings in their own business, to their entire savings and nest egg for retirement? A bloody mess which soon turns nasty.

Vlahos bashed, car torched as BC3 Thoroughbreds turns ugly

Syndicate leaders bashed as investors face huge fleecing

You bet 600 Yarrawonga residents are angry at losing $74 million in punting club

Racing Victoria to investigate BC3 Thoroughbreds, alleged assault at Bill Vlahos property

Leading bookmakers in the dark over Bill Vlahos' alleged punting scheme

A lot of people have woken up to the stark realisation that if something seems too good to be true, it invariably is. The global financial crisis killed off strong returns from the stock and property markets, so people went looking for other 'easy' options. A costly lesson for many to learn, most will have little chance to recover these funds in the rest of their days.

Vlahos refused medical attention from an ambulance which suggests those links to the Melbourne underworld are more than just coincidence. One of my readers over the weekend pointed me towards photos with Vlahos alongside some of the names you are likely to find mentioned in the infamous TV series Underworld. Keep the ambulances out, keep the cops out - simple theory doubt he'll be able to do that for long...

Somewhat conveniently, Vlahos has very few assets to his name - the family house is in his wife's name. I reckon we've heard all this before in any number of scams. And bookmakers are rubbishing claims that any of the money was ever used for betting - the Australian market simply can't sustain that level of activity. So what are the chances of Daniel Maxwell actually existing?

Administrators have been called into BC3 - not 'The Edge' punting syndicate as there was never any paperwork or legal identity to it. So investors now face a second dose of being shafted - this time legally though, as administrators who take 80% of recovered funds for themselves are perfectly ethical and above board...

A lot of people on social media have been giving the racing media stick for not busting this open earlier. Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Would you be willing to go digging deep on your mates when you know there are links to the Mokbels and associates? When it would only take asking a couple of people to find out where you lived if you had opened Pandora's Box? I doubt I'd be writing this if I was back living in Melbourne!

Investigative journalists such as Nick McKenzie and Andrew Rule are very good at what they do. That is their niche, they know how to deal with all the flak that comes with such scandals. Many in the racing media will have been providing the background information for their investigations, but that is far as they should be taking it. Fawning over the 'big new players' in the industry though goes a tad too far - free lunches shouldn't be the way to buy favourable comment.

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