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Court hears of Foster's alleged Bitcoin scam at heart of $2m fraud plan


Serial conman Peter Foster is in quarantine in custody while he waits for Queensland Police to disclose material found on a computer when he was arrested at a Victorian winery.

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The 59-year-old did not appear by videolink from the Brisbane Correctional Centre when his matter was mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Foster was arrested in Victoria in December after six months on the run.

He was facing multiple charges relating to an alleged $2 million worth of fraud offences when he absconded, police said at the time of his arrest.

At the request of lawyer Chris Hannay, magistrate Stephen Courtney on Tuesday ordered the prosecution to disclose the results of an inspection of a computer and phone Foster was using when arrested.

Hannay said he had already received from Queensland Police a brief of evidence prepared by their NSW colleagues.

Courtney ordered the material be disclosed by February 8 if it was to be relied on by prosecutors.

Hannay said Foster was in quarantine at the correctional centre and was “having further difficulties, obviously”.

The charges Foster faces relate to allegations he posed as a man called Bill Dawson and extricated 120 Bitcoin from a Hong Kong man in 2019 and 2020.

NSW prosecutors later dropped the charges and Queensland police subsequently issued a fresh warrant over the same allegations.

Foster was originally arrested in Port Douglas in August 2020 and remanded in custody until he was granted bail in NSW the following March.

He was declared a fugitive after he failed to appear in court in May and was on the run until he was picked up near Gisborne, about 70km northwest of Melbourne.

Foster faces five counts of dishonestly inducing delivery of property (value of at least $100,000), two counts of obtaining or dealing with identification information and one count of fraudulently producing/using any record which is false.

Hannay said he expected to apply for a committal date at the next mention of Foster’s matter in the same court on February 14.

Foster has not applied for bail.

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