Toorak Lawyer Appeals Conviction in Greek Court Over $1.5M Seaside Resort Dispute

John Velos, head of Melbourne-based firm Velos & Velos Lawyers

A prominent lawyer from Toorak, also a former mayor of the City of Prahran, is currently challenging a forgery conviction in a Greek court. This legal battle stems from a familial dispute over the ownership of a prestigious hotel resort valued at $1.5 million, nestled along the picturesque shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

John Velos, the principal of Velos & Velos Lawyers, a distinguished law firm based in Melbourne, with over four decades of legal experience, was found guilty of forgery in Athens earlier this year. Consequently, he was handed a six-month prison sentence.

Velos was a councillor for the City of Prahran from 1983 to 1992, and mayor of the council from 1989 to 1990. He unsuccessfully ran for a spot on the Stonnington council again in 2020.

The conviction stems from his alleged actions during a family dispute over control of a Greek company that owns the Skoutari Beach Hotel, a hilltop resort on the sea about 250 kilometres southwest of Athens. The hotel is worth an estimated $1.5 million (€928,000).

Velos has denied any wrongdoing through his Melbourne-based legal team. The 67-year-old lawyer practices in the areas of property, family and commercial law, as well as bankruptcy, insolvency and criminal law matters.

In February, Velos was convicted in the Athens Court of Appeals for an act of forgery. He was acquitted of a second charge of using a forged document.

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