Bill Papas’ Greek business partner Anastasios Giamouridis denies role in alleged $500m fraud

Bill Papas

Bill Papas’ Greek business partner says he knew nothing of the Forum Group founder’s alleged fraud as he attempts to prevent Westpac from forcing him to refund $10m paid for the manufacture of food digestion machines, reports the Australian

Businessman Anastasios Giamouridis, in documents filed in the Federal Court, said he “did not know of, nor participated in a scheme” to defraud Westpac and other banks by issuing fake invoices.

Mr Giamouridis, who is still in Greece, confirmed he is a 1 per cent shareholder in Mazcon, the business set up by Mr Papas, which Westpac alleges received funds from the alleged fraud.

Mazcon was later used by Mr Papas to buy football team Xanthi in a $15m deal. Mr Giamouridis was briefly chief executive of the Greek football team.

Westpac claims Mr Giamouridis was paid millions to manufacture and store thousands of waste digestion machines on behalf of Mr Papas. The bank also claims Mr Papas sent millions to Greece to fund his purchase of several properties, a football team, and several companies.

“The funds were used to acquire assets, namely prototypes for food digesters and food digests, but not to acquire the jointly owned real property nor the Tesoriero real property,” Mr Giamouridis’ lawyers wrote in the court filings. “(Mr Giamouridis) denies receiving payments from (Forum Group) which he had no legitimate basis to receive.”

In his defence, Mr Giamouridis claims he acted “bona fide” at all times and provided “valuable consideration for the payments” and had “no notice that the funds were fraudulently obtained … nor that the funds were infected with any wrongdoing”.

Westpac claims Mr Papas and his fellow Forum director Vincenzo Tesoriero were allegedly masterminds of the lease contract scheme that saw it owed almost $300m