Melbourne racing identity Bill Vlahos jailed for nine years for $17.5m punting Ponzi scheme

Dazzled by the promise of plum winnings on the racetrack because of a secret mathematical formula, the investors that Bill Vlahos swindled named their syndicates accordingly — Richy Rich, Winners Circle, Oceans 18.

And they opened their bank accounts to him, too, pouring hard-earned savings into a club that he named “The Edge” because it would give participants a secret advantage on other punters.

The lure was strong.

One man transferred $1.2 million directly into the racing identity’s personal bank account, convinced that his investment would generate life-changing cash and on paper, that’s how things appeared.

But in reality, Vlahos was actually the principal of a preposterous Ponzi scheme that hustled investors out of $17,520,224.

Vlahos’s spending ‘dazzling’, judge says

The racing identity splashed the cash on first-class flights, two luxury cars, home renovations and a whip belonging to the champion racehorse Black Caviar, worth $47,000.

County Court Judge Douglas Trapnell today jailed the racing identity for nine years.

With time served, he will be eligible for parole in just over four years.

He described Vlahos’s spending as “dazzling” and said his crimes were “egregious”.

“Through your…

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