Two entrepreneurs who rode with Lamborghini and wished with sport stars would have used a Bitcoin company as a front for an international drug syndicate.
Sam Karagiozis, 27, and good mate Steen McBeth, 28, are both confronted with life sentences as the supposed masterminds of a drug ring that imports cocaine, MDMA and ice cream.
The & # 39; self-made & # 39; millionaires have co-founded Auscoin in Australia in 2017, hoping that this would be the next big thing to match the fast-growing Bitcoin.
As brand awareness grew, there were invitations to sit in Nick Kyrgios 'players' box at the Australian Open and 60-minute interviews.
But the police claim that the online money company of the two plays a prominent role in smuggling drugs.
Karagiozis and McBeth are now both in custody a world away from the opulent lifestyle of flash-fun cars, Disneyland journeys, and the wealth that they boasted on social media.
Sam Karagiozis (left) and Steen McBeth (right) posed just a week before McBeth was arrested for a photo at Disneyland in Tokyo and accused of being part of a drug syndicate. It took 18 months for the police to arrest Karagiozis for allegedly being part of the same drug ring
Karagiozis (photo) was arrested last month and the police will claim in court that he & # 39; the operations of the criminal syndicate & # 39; led in the absence of his two co-defendants
Just seven days before his world collapsed, McBeth was photographed in Tokyo Disneyland, smiling alongside his good friend Karagiozis and & # 39; Donald Duck & # 39;.
The Japanese holiday was the culmination of months of planning for the launch of their own cryptocurrency company.
Auscoin is officially registered with ASIC on October 25, 2017.
McBeth also had another to celebrate his return to Australia, after clearing a top class Lamborghini from his partner Karagiozis before he left.
PRior to flying overseas McBeth dropped the car off at a personalization shop to run it from green to black at a price of almost $ 6,000.
He picked up the Lamborghini on October 21, 2017 – but six days later he was gone.
The AFP first became aware of the alleged ring in February 2017 when border guards found several suspicious mail packages at Melbourne Airport.
Hidden in the post were 15.8 kg of MDMA, 2.6 kg of cocaine and 1.1 kg of ketamine.
The police claim that the drugs were purchased on the & # 39; dark web & # 39; before they are sent to Australia and distributed – with payments often made in Bitcoin.
McBeth (photo) is originally from New Zealand and his parents Denise and Murray founded the successful post office chain Pete & # 39; s Post
Karagiozis claimed to be a self-made millionaire and leader in cryptocurrency in Australia. He bought a Lamborghini (top) with the money he earned before selling it to McBeth at the end of 2017
Before he went on vacation to Japan, McBeth dropped his Lamborghini into a workshop and paid $ 6,000 to make it black (above). Only six days after he picked it up, it was confiscated by the police
McBeth (far left) and Jackson Li (far right) were both arrested on October 21, 2017. Karagiozis (center) was arrested on March 7, 2019
HOW POLITICS FOLLOW ANSWERED DRUGRING:
– February: AFP discovers international mail with medication at Melbourne Airport. They claim they were bought through the dark web
– October: McBeth and Karagiozis go on holiday to Japan together
– 21st of October: Steen McBeth picks up a Lamborghini that he had bought from Sam Karagiozis months earlier
– October 25: McBeth and Karagiozis register their cryptocurrency & # 39; Auscoin & # 39;
– 27 October: The police raided the homes of McBeth and Jackson Li after allegedly finding the drugs
– March 7th: Police raid Karagiozis' house in Melbourne and seize drugs and cryptocurrency
– May 23: The trio comes to court
It took the police eight months to track the packages to McBeth and another man, Jackson Li, 27.
The pair was arrested during early morning disasters in Melbourne on October 27, 2017 and charged with importing, trading, and owning drugs.
The police found 1 kg of ice, 700 g of cocaine, 10 kg of MDMA and 16 liters of the organic form of GHB.
They also seized cash and McBeth & # 39; s new Lamborghini.
McBeth is originally from New Zealand, where his parents Denise and Murray founded the successful post office chain Pete & # 39; s Post.
Li had worked as part of Karagiozis & # 39; chain of souvlaki restaurants, and like his mentor, he was an avid bodybuilder.
It would take another year and a half before the police could connect Karagiozis to the drug ring.
With McBeth and Li behind bars, police claim Karagiozis went to work in & # 39; leading the operations of the criminal syndicate & # 39 ;.
Court documents reveal that Karagiozis allegedly sold a number of real property at the start of his arrest to reduce the debt.
With his co-founder McBeth in custody, Karagiozis started promoting Auscoin when the price of a single Bitcoin rose. He was invited to sit with Nick Kyrgios and his brother Christos in the players box at the Australian Open (pictured.) It is not suggested that the Kyrgios brothers had any involvement in the alleged drug syndicate)
Karagiozis made the headlines for its purpose to roll out Bitcoin ATMs throughout Australia, making the cryptocurrency more accessible to users
Jackson Li (right), the third man arrested for the alleged drug syndicate, is believed to have worked in the souvlaki restaurant chain of Karagiozis. He is currently facing eight charges
The sale took place after the alleged drug syndicate would have spent $ 3,349,800 out of a total of six investment properties between the end of 2016 and March 2019.
Karagiozis made national headlines when the price of Bitcoin rose to AUD $ 26,000 in December 2017 and he introduced a series of ATMs with cryptocurrency.
During interviews, he described himself as & # 39; self-made & # 39; and he even had the words tattooed on his knuckles.
Shortly before Karagiozis was arrested on March 7 this year, the police asked to keep the property under his control.
These include various bank accounts, a BMW motorbike, cash and cryptocurrency activities.
Police used intercepted phone calls to decipher Karagiozis' ownership of a number of properties, such as a house in southwest Melbourne.
& # 39; We paid the fifty thousand … for establishment & # 39 ;, Karagiozis said in a phone call from March 6, 2019.
In February 2017, the police discovered nearly 19 kilos hidden in international mail packages at Melbourne airport. Eight months later, they finally traced the packages back to McBeth and Li. When their property was raided, they reportedly found cash and drugs (photo)
During the raids, the police seized 1 kg of ice, 700 grams of cocaine, 10 kg of MDMA and steroids, among other things.
& # 39; It has probably already been erased because it is both Commonwealth, and I have made a cash deposit of forty thousand dollars … which happens immediately. & # 39;
The police will claim in court that these houses were purchased with the proceeds of crime.
Karagiozis is charged with 14 crimes related to drug trafficking, import and also with the proceeds of crime.
McBeth faces 16 charges, while Li has been accused of eight offenses so far.
The three co-complaints will appear before the Melbourne County Court on May 23.