A prominent criminal defense attorney is accused of playing a major role in an alleged multi-million dollar money laundering syndicate.
Michael Frederick Bosscher, 53, was one of two men arrested Monday in Australian Federal Police raids in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
As part of the eight-month investigation, search warrants were issued on homes in Graceville, Bardon, Brisbane and Helensvale.
Officers seized $70,000 in cash from two safes hidden under the stairs and a cash counter in a Bardon building, while $160,000 in cash was seized from a safe in a home in Helensvale further south.
Police also seized a number of cell phones for further forensic investigation.
A second man, 67, from Helensvale was also charged.
Criminal lawyer Michael Frederick Bosscher must report to the police twice a week
A major media scrum awaited Michael Bosscher as he left Brisbane Watchhouse on Tuesday after being released on bail
Police will allege that downtown Graceville Bosscher provided millions of dollars in funds suspected of crime proceeds to deposit into the accounts in an effort to avoid detection by authorities.
He was charged with conspiracy to trade in the proceeds of general crime and at the time of the trade the value of the money or property was $1 million or more.
He appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where acting magistrate Rowan Silva granted him bail, which the Crown opposed.
Bosscher was later surrounded by media crews when he left Brisbane Watchhouse after being released.
He must report to the police twice a week, reside at his Graceville address, and not contact his co-defendant, a witness to the prosecution or seven other people included in the investigation.
Bosscher is also not allowed to leave Queensland, go within 500 meters of an international departure point, hand in his passport and have only one telephone.
His case will return to court on December 2.
Police reportedly found thousands of dollars in a staircase in a Bardon house in Brisbane’s west
The second man, training director Richard Franks, 67, from Helensvale faces a series of charges including conspiracy to trade in the proceeds of general crime and at the time of trade the value of the money or property was $1 million or more.
The charges involve the movement of millions of dollars in 35 transactions over a 20-month period, Commonwealth prosecutor Christopher Moore told the court.
“Investigations are underway into the flow of funds and a forensic accountant has been engaged to assist with that process,” he said.
He was released on bail at Southport Magistrates Court on strict terms that he surrender his passport and have no contact with Bosscher or the complainants.
Bosscher was indicted by the Queensland corruption watchdog earlier in 2017 for aggravated fraud and eight counts of fraudulent falsification of records.
The magistrate compared his offences, including taking cash under the table, to an “alleged rapist having a cup of tea with a complainant.”
$70,000 in cash was reportedly found in two safes hidden under the stairs and a cash counter was seized
AFP agents have charged two men and are not ruling out further arrests. In the photo one of the arrests
Search warrants were issued on homes in Graceville, Bardon (pictured), Brisbane and Helensvale as part of the eight-month AFP investigation
His law firm Bosscher Lawyers describes Bosscher as one of Australia’s most experienced criminal justice practitioners.
He became a lawyer in 1993 and has represented serial killers, rapists and drug lords ever since.
“Michael has worked exclusively in criminal law for over a quarter of a century,” the firm’s website reads.
Michael has appeared in some of Australia’s most famous criminal justice cases over the past 25 years and is also a published author on criminal justice topics.
“His reputation for his knowledge and experience in the field is nationally recognized and he advises not only directly to clients, but also to educational institutions, sports organizations and law reform stakeholders.”
The AFP does not rule out further arrests.
Money laundering is the backbone of organized crime. Money is the only reason organized crime exists and taking their ill-gotten wealth is a top priority for the AFP,” Acting Commander Telfer said.
“We will continue to focus on the structures that allow organized crime to hide their wealth and we cannot rule out more arrests if our investigators track the money.”
$160,000 cash (pictured) was reportedly seized from a house in Helensvale on the Gold Coast
Lawyer Michael Bosscher (pictured leaving Brisbane Watchhouse) is now embroiled in a legal battle of his own to clear his name