Melbourne man scammed bushfire victim who lost everything in Black Summer catastrophe by selling him fake gold on eBay
- Loucas Loca pleaded guilty to charges in Victoria Country Court on Tuesday
- The 64-year-old passed bars made of zinc and copper as 99.9% pure gold
- Victim of the Black Summer bushfires spent his entire insurance payout on bars
- The Melbourne retiree has scammed a total of $129,952.40 from three victims
The shiny gold bars Loucas Louca sold on eBay were stamped with the name of a real gold supplier and packaged in a black velvet drawstring pouch.
They looked like what someone who bought an ounce of gold bars would expect them to look like.
The Melbourne retiree passed them on as 99.9 percent pure, but they were gold enamel only – zinc and copper with only 1.6 percent gold plating.
A Victorian man who spent an insurance claim after losing his home in the Mallacoota bushfire thought he was getting the real deal.
Melbourne retiree Loucas Louca pleaded guilty to charges including obtaining and trying to obtain financial benefit through fraud (stock)
Instead, he made a fortune for 52 gold bars worth only $20 each.
Louca, 64, pleaded guilty in Victoria’s County Court to charges including obtaining and trying to obtain financial benefit through fraud.
Prosecutor Alexander Albert told a hearing Tuesday that Louca had three victims, including the man from Mallacoota, who scammed $129,952.40 from them.
The disabled retiree sold the counterfeit precious metal on eBay using a false seller’s name and false account holder details. Payment was made into bank accounts that he had also set up under false names.
64-year-old man defrauded three victims of $129,952.40 by selling fake zinc and copper gold bars (stock)
Among the victims was a man who spent his entire insurance payout on the fake gold bars after he lost his home in the Black Summer bushfires (pictured, the 2020 fires in East Gippsland)
His first two victims bought four gold bars, but after discovering they were counterfeit, they bought three more without paying, hoping it would help police track down Louca.
The Mallacoota man also saw the precious metal advertised on eBay and explained that he was investing in gold because he lost his home and possessions in the Mallacoota fires and had recently received a payout.
The man bought 20 gold bars and was told by Louca that because he was a “good customer,” he could have another 32 bars for $73,000. He accepted, but that package was intercepted by the police.
County Court Judge Daniel Holding said it was a strange case that Louca had not spent the money. He paid back everything except $9000.
The man bought 20 gold bars and was told by Louca that he could get 32 more bars for a total of $73,000 because he had been a good customer (pictured, Mallacoota entrance)
Louca has a history of dishonesty crimes, including taking nearly $400,000 from banks.
“He’s a guy who gets into some kind of dishonest activity, he gets caught, he gets punished, and he comes out and he thinks ‘well, here’s another kind of dishonest activity where I won’t get caught,'” said Judge Holding. .
His attorney Emily Austin said Louca suffered a stroke in February and is paralyzed on the left side of his body as a result. He uses a wheelchair and is afraid of dying in custody.
Judge Holding described Louca as “the author of his own misfortune,” who continued to commit crimes as an older man.
Louca will be back in court next month.