News, Culture & Society

Michael Boghdadi Asaad scammed Centrelink for 30 years and fighting Peter Dutton visa cancellation

Centrelink conman and father-of-seven, 80, who scammed Australian taxpayers for three decades by using a fake identity FIGHTS Peter Dutton’s deportation order

  • Father-of-seven Michael Boghdadi Asaad, 80, was jailed for 13 months in 2016 
  • Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled Assad’s visa in February 2018 
  • Assad is currently at a detention centre and is set to appeal Mr Dutton’s decision 

Father-of-seven Michael Boghdadi Asaad was jailed for 13 months in 2016 for scamming Centrelink of $89,161 between 2002 and 2009

A Centrelink comman who scammed Australian taxpayers for three decades by using a fake identity is fighting his deportation order.

Father-of-seven Michael Boghdadi Asaad was jailed for 13 months in 2016 for scamming Centrelink of $89,161 between 2002 and 2009, and is now fighting to stay in the country after his spousal visa was cancelled.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled the 80-year-old’s visa in February 2018 following his conviction, after it was found Asaad was not born in Australia and was not a citizen. 

Asaad who is currently locked up at the Villawood immigration detention centre, west of Sydney, is now appealing the Mr Dutton’s decision to cancel his visa.  

Federal Court judge Justice John Reeves ruled Mr Dutton had acted within his statutory rights in cancelling Assad’s visa. 

A court date is yet to be set for the appeal. 

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled the 80-year-old's visa in February 2018 after it was found that Assad was not born in Australia and was not an Australian citizen

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled the 80-year-old’s visa in February 2018 after it was found that Assad was not born in Australia and was not an Australian citizen

Asaad was reportedly in and out of US prisons between 1971 and 1987 on charges ranging from bank fraud to embezzlement and passing fake cheques.

Leaving his family behind, he allegedly arrived in Australia in the late 1980s on a Canadian passport in the name of Rick Michaels – which effectively erased his criminal past. 

Asaad’s stepdaughter Heidi Kiernan, formally Heidi Asaad, told Daily Mail Australia in January from her home in Florida she will travel to Sydney to come face-to-face with the man who abandoned her and watch him get booted from the country.

‘I have never gotten over the hell he put me through, the hell he left me with, the broken promises and shattered heart. These wounds run deep… I have my passport ready,’ Ms Kiernan said.

Assad's stepdaughter Heidi Kiernan is seen with her friend and private investigator Bill Hagler

Assad’s stepdaughter Heidi Kiernan is seen with her friend and private investigator Bill Hagler 

'He's very, very smart and so slick. He can make every deal in the book - he's got nine lives,' Mr Hagler said of Asaad (pictured)

‘He’s very, very smart and so slick. He can make every deal in the book – he’s got nine lives,’ Mr Hagler said of Asaad (pictured)

In 1992, years after arriving in Australia, Asaad used a fake baptism form to obtain a birth certificate. A court later found that a fire he claimed destroyed his original certificate never happened.

He used the birth certificate to obtain a passport and, although he was convicted of a string of crimes, slipped under the radar of immigration authorities for decades to come.

In 1993, he was convicted of heroin dealing and served 11 months behind bars, according to Queensland Supreme Court documents. 

Asaad left Ms Kiernan's mother (pictured together) and moved Antoinette into their family home in Florida, secretly marrying her soon after

Asaad left Ms Kiernan’s mother (pictured together) and moved Antoinette into their family home in Florida, secretly marrying her soon after

The conman's long list of criminal convictions include heroin supply and multiple counts of fraud. He is pictured with his Australian wife, Antoinette

The conman’s long list of criminal convictions include heroin supply and multiple counts of fraud. He is pictured with his Australian wife, Antoinette

Asaad was convicted of a string of fraud-related offences stretching from 1994 to 2009, as well as several bail breaches, court documents state.

In 2002 at the age of 72, Asaad declared bankruptcy owing nearly $400,000, shortly before he set up a pizza restaurant on the Gold Coast.

In 2005 he was convicted of preparing to leave Australia as an undischarged bankrupt – as well as conducting business while bankrupt – and sentenced to three months jail.

He was later convicted of failing to declare bankruptcy to an exclusive Perth school which one of his sons attended in 2004, racking up a debt of $16,000. He served six months of a 12-month sentence.

In 2010, Asaad was jailed for nine months after failing to declare to businesses he was bankrupt, leaving them thousands of dollars out of pocket.

In 2017, authorities finally figured out who he was – Egyptian-born lifetime crook Farouk Asaad – after he tried to claim an aged pension in a final attempt to scam Australia’s taxpayers. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.