Footy great Wayne Carey reveals how he, Russell Crowe and Steve Waugh were all conned out of their money by a notorious company that promised miracles but never delivered
- Wayne Carey reveals how he was scammed
- AFL legend invested in Firepower scam
- Many other celebrities also stood out
AFL great Wayne Carey has told how he and other Aussie celebrities were scammed by a company promising to give your car 50 per cent more power – and the footy star still can’t believe he fell for it.
It was one of the most spectacular frauds in Australian history – a miracle pill called Firepower that promised to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Millions of shares were sold to investors including sports stars, celebrities and corporate executives before the entire scam collapsed.
On his podcast “The Truth Hurts,” Carey admitted that he was also involved in the financial sham.
“I was conned,” the North Melbourne legend confessed.
“This is one of the biggest drawbacks — I’m not sure ever, but definitely in my life.
Wayne Carey has revealed how he and other celebrities like Russell Crowe (pictured at a South Sydney NRL match in ) were scammed by the Firepower fuel pill scam
“I invested in this company called Firepower. Russell Crowe, Steve Waugh, [fellow AFL great] Mark Ricciuto – we had some big names behind this and invested in it.
“They sponsored the Rabbitohs in South Sydney. The Sydney Kings, I think they sponsored at one time.’
Carey’s podcast co-host Ayrton Woolley stepped in to ask what Firepower actually did.
“It was a — I can’t believe I actually did this — it was a pill you put in you [petrol] tank, and it cleaned your tank and made your car go further.
“Anyway, we all got sucked in and it ended up being a huge scam.”
In 2006, Russell Crowe announced that Firepower would sponsor the South Sydney Rabbitohs for $3 million over three years while appearing on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show in the US.
The Steve Waugh Foundation invested $24,000 in the controversial venture, and Brownlow Medalist Mark Ricciuto invested $175,000.
The mind-blowing scam was run by a man named Tim Johnston, who ran the company Firepower International.
It wasn’t just ordinary investors who got involved in the business either – the Australian government gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in export subsidies to a related Firepower entity, TPS Firepower.
In 2007, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Taxation Office launched an investigation into Firepower – and it soon emerged that the organization was not an international operation, but had sprung from an industrial estate in Perth.
Aussie cricket icon Steve Waugh (pictured) was also involved in the spectacular fraud
The following year, the company was in shambles and the many investors who had poured nearly $100 million into the venture were left in the lurch.
Money invested in the venture was never recovered, as Johnston had rendered the assets untouchable by transferring them to his wife’s name.