Hundreds of unqualified tradies could be working at sites across Sydney after ‘couple’s trade industry scam’ is unearthed by police
- Couple to spend Christmas in prison after being caught in fake tradies scheme
- Cameron and Fay Russell are alleged ringleaders of an elaborate operation
- They are accused of providing people across the city with fake trade certificates
- Nine people in total were arrested in relation to the elaborate fraud operation
A husband-and-wife duo alleged to have supplied fake qualifications to tradies has been busted amid fears there are now hundreds of workers on building sites without proper credentials.
Cameron Russell, 55, and wife Fay, 52, are accused of being ringleaders of an elaborate operation that began in Sydney in 2015.
They allegedly provided hundreds of fake qualifications in the fields of building, electrotechnology, gas fittings, air-conditioning and refrigeration.
The Organised Crime Squad’s Money Laundering Unit and the NSW Crime Commission have been investigating them and seven others since June, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Cameron Russell, 55, and wife Fay, 52, were allegedly ringleaders of an elaborate operation that provided hundreds of people across Sydney with fake trade certificates
Authorities were investigating an unrelated matter when they became aware of the fraudulent trade certificate scheme.
Nine people were arrested and charged but police allege Mr and Mrs Russell were the masterminds.
Mr Russell is the director of Daily Update Pty Ltd, a training organisation operating under the name Green Skills Australia.
Him and his wife allegedly used the organisation to issue the fake trade certificates which Mr Russell is understood to have signed and claimed were genuine.
Court documents revealed fraudulent certificates included a Certificate IV in Building and Construction, Certificate III in Gas Fitting and a Certificate in Electrotechnology Electrician.
Authorities allege the group provided the fake documents so tradespeople could get away with not completing assessments.
The couple was charged with multiple offences including making false documents to influence the exercise of public duty, dealing with $125,000 in proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.
They were refused bail at Sydney’s Central Local Court and will spend Christmas in prison before appearing in court on February 5.
Mr Russell is the director of Daily Update Pty Ltd, a training organisation trading under the name Green Skills Australia
Company records show Mr Russell also sits as a director or secretary for eight different companies running out of his home address in Melbourne.
Ekrem Ahmic, 49, was also arrested in relation to the operation at a home in Sylvania in Sydney’s south on December 4.
Officers found $58,000, business documents, electronic devices and nunchucks.
The 49-year-old was charged with participating in the criminal group, dealing in proceeds of crime, publishing and making false material, and possessing prohibited weapons and fake documents.
Five men who bought the fake certificates were charged with possessing a false document to influence the exercise of public duty.
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