Adriana Benhamou Weiss sent Whatsapp message asking junior worker to Photoshop payment confirmations
How a single WhatsApp message from a socialist interior designer for the rich and famous to a junior employee led to the discovery of a fake payment scam that involved looting wealthy customers
- Socialite interior designer asked junior employee to photoshop payment receipts
- Adriana Benhamou Weiss took on DEC Services as one of her clients in 2016
- Company prepaid her $325,000 before Weiss reportedly kept the money
A socialist interior designer accused of falsifying financial records allegedly sent WhatsApp messages to her junior employee telling her to photoshop payment receipts.
Adriana Benhamou Weiss decorated the mansions of Australian multi-millionaires and designed hotels and apartment complexes in Paris, Moscow, the French Riviera and luxury properties in Israel and the Middle East.
Her luxurious life came crashing down when she was accused of instructing an employee to forge books regarding payments to six different design services in four currencies equal to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Weiss had hired a junior employee in 2015 when she sent her Whatsapp messages in 2016 allegedly asking her to use Photoshop to create payment confirmations.
Adriana Benhamou Weiss decorated the mansions of Australian multimillionaires, designed hotels and apartment complexes in Paris, Moscow and the French Riviera, and luxury properties in Israel and the Middle East
Weiss had hired a junior employee in 2015 when she sent her Whatsapp messages in 2016 allegedly asking her to use Photoshop to create payment confirmations (stock image)
Weiss had taken on DEC Services as a client and had been hired to design and build their offices on Bond Street in Sydney.
Weiss is said to have promised that she could provide a cheaper service than her competitors because she owned a furniture manufacturer and distribution company in Dubai.
She reportedly asked for the payments to be made urgently when DEC Services prepaid $325,000 — before Weiss reportedly kept the money for herself.
Weiss had reportedly asked her junior employee to create payment confirmations in Photoshop before meeting DEC Services again, the Australian reported.
The alleged confirmation payments made it seem like the money DEC Services had given to Weiss had been sent to suppliers and contractors.
Some of the payment confirmations would contain incorrect addresses and company names and spelling mistakes such as ‘trasnfer’ and ‘business’.
Weiss has pleaded guilty to three charges to be heard under the Corporations Act and for a further three charges to be heard under the Crimes Act in June.
Another six charges of falsifying records at her company were dropped or dismissed.
Mrs. Weiss’ Benhamou designs were hired to decorate the oceanfront Deauville house (above) with the trophy of multi-millionaire Neville Crichton and his wife Nadi, but furniture never arrived
Weiss’ luxury life came crashing down when she was accused of instructing an employee to forge books involving payments to six different design services in four currencies equal to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The charges against Weiss follow the liquidation of her and her mother’s company Benhamou Designs, liquidated by Ferrier Hodgson and in debt of $8.11 million.
Mrs. Weiss’ mother has since renamed herself Helene in Paris and has traveled to Europe where she has released YouTube videos singing French romantic classics such as ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’.
The counterfeits alleged by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) all took place in late 2016, prior to the liquidation of Benhamou Designs.
The liquidation report states that Weiss blames her company’s failure on “poor business practices” and “significant disputes with customers and suppliers.”
A dispute was with Neville Crichton, a multi-millionaire sailor and luxury car importer, over the supply of furniture for the $45 million waterfront Point Piper mansion he bought in late 2017.
Court documents seen by Daily Mail Australia allege that Ms Weiss was “feeling guilty of conduct resulting in the forgery of” receipts, international wire transfers and a purchase order in US Dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars and United Arab Emirates Dirhams
Mr Crichton wanted to buy the furniture after the then 71-year-old, nicknamed ‘Croaky’, married 38-year-old Nadi Hasandedic, a former Christian Dior boutique manager, earlier the same year.
The furniture order never arrived at trophy house Deauville, which is next door to the home of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Ms Weiss reportedly blamed “supplier problems”.