Vlahos scandal claims another victim

EXCLUSIVE

The fallout from the Bill Vlahos scandal continued on Wednesday when Racing Victoria charged a BC3 Thoroughbreds syndicate member for failing to declare a criminal record.

Joe Zaiter was convicted of importing cocaine and jailed for 12 months in 2006.

As reported by Fairfax Media on Wednesday, RV investigators allege that Zaiter did not declare his criminal background and made a false and misleading document.

Zaiter races six horses, including Sanagas, who ran in the Melbourne Cup two years ago.

Vlahos, who has filed for bankruptcy after his punting club, the Edge, collapsed, was also a part-owner of Sanagas.

Zaiter owns four horses in BC3 syndicates. He will appear before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on a date to be fixed.

BC3, which Vlahos founded, collapsed on December 9 - the day that Vlahos was allegedly assaulted and a ute containing a laptop with punting club files was torched at BC3's Grace Park property, on the Surf Coast.

Vlahos' bankruptcy trustee, Clyde White, of PCI Partners, revealed at a creditors' meeting in Melbourne last Friday that three withdrawals, totalling $200,000, were made from Vlahos' NAB account on the day - $180,000 of which was transferred to BC3.

Only $10,000 has been recovered from the $190 million that creditors of the punting club are owed.

Victoria Police's Fraud Squad is investigating. A Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the Vlahos probe was one of several across the state.

''Victoria Police is continuing to investigate reports of fraudulent activity connected to [a] number of horse racing betting syndicates across Victoria,'' she said.

''So far, 30 syndicates have come forward.''

BC3's administrators, Trent Hancock and Michael Hird, of Moore Stephens, have been granted court approval for extra time to investigate the group's demise.

They were given an extra 12 weeks in December instead of the usual 30 days to convene the next creditors' meeting.

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