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24 June 2019
Police examined thousands of documents after computers were taken from a Kew property following freezing and search orders, the trial of Josie and Alvaro Gonzalez heard today.
Fraud squad detective Andrew Cocking this morning identified a number of documents shown to the County Court jury as the prosecution continued to present its case.
Detective Cocking also identified land title documents that showed former ownership of the Fellows Street, Kew, property by Alvaro Gonzalez and ownership of another Melbourne property in Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, by Josie Gonzalez.
Dual Australia subsequently received proceeds from the sale of the properties, along with bank account money and taxes recovered following a civil deed of settlement.
Josie Gonzalez, 45, and her husband, 50, have each pleaded not guilty to 14 charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
It is alleged that Dual was defrauded of $17.4 million as a result of more than 400 false invoices for legal services in a period extending just over two years from March 2011.
Under cross-examination, Detective Cocking said he believed the Carlton property was not searched and he had not directly searched Dual’s Figtree claims management system or its Redmap document storage.
Defence barrister Alan Hands suggested he could have “overlooked some memorandum”.
“It is a possibility,” Detective Cocking said.
Dual Australia solicitor Simon Crawford, from HWL Ebsworth, disputed a defence suggestion that a caveat over Josie Gonzalez’s parents’ property was a case of putting pressure on the defendants.
“It was removed when we were satisfied that none of the funds had found their way into that property,” he said.
Mr Crawford said there were numerous drafts of the civil deed of agreement and “quite a bit of back and forth” before it was signed, with the document a key part of the process in getting money back from the Australian Tax Office.
The trial before Judge Paul Lacava continues.