Forum Group: The entity at the centre of staggering $400m fraud allegations is “open for business”

bill papas

Forum Group, the entity at the centre on an alleged $400 million fraud against Westpac, is looking for new customers to bolster new business, after being sold from administration last week to Bill Papas’ cousin Eric Constantinidis.

Forum Group, the employing entity from Mr Papas’ Forum Finance, which sells technology and other products to small businesses, has sent six emails to potential clients over the past two weeks in an attempt to bolster business.

The emails promoting Forum’s businesses were sent at a time where the company was going through significant layoffs and staff say they were owed large amounts of money.

The most recent email sent last Friday stated, “I’d love to have one of our office solution experts come out to see you and talk about the challenges your business is facing and the ways in which Forum can help make your business better.”

Forum Group’s website has stayed live since it was revealed the company was at the centre of an alleged $400 million fraud against Australia’s second largest bank. The website initially showcased an affirmative review from a Sydney concrete company, which was later removed after the company’s owners engaged lawyers.

A source from the concrete company, who decline to be named, said Forum had not requested his permission to use his business’ name on the website and while the service had been “professional” he did not want his business to be correlated with the fraud allegations.

In the meantime, Westpac has obtained freezing orders from the Federal Court and is trying to track down and seize any properties Mr Papas may own across the world.

It is understood that his assets are estimated to be worth more than $40 million, including luxury homes in NSW, Victoria and Greece, a portfolio of petrol stations and a race car worth over $630,000.

There are no obvious signs that Mr Papas would be returning to Sydney any time soon. Mr Papas, who was meant to return to Australia to face the courts earlier this month, remains in Greece after his lawyer told the Federal Court he had contracted COVID-19.

At the hearing on July 15, the Sydney businessman and football personality was criticised by Justice Lee for his ongoing absence and failure to comply with court directions that he list his assets and liabilities as part of the freezing orders.

“I’ve made two orders,” the judge said. “I don’t make orders on the basis they can be treated like traffic lights in Athens. I want them complied with.”

Mr Papas is yet to file a defence or challenge any of the allegations made against him.