A Sydney conman who scammed a Christchurch man out of more than $500,000 is accused of conducting several similar scams around the world, fleecing his victims out of AU$5.6 million (NZ$6.1m) in total, it has been revealed.
Daniel Albert was extradited from Auckland to Australia on Thursday to face charges relating to 35 counts of fraud that allegedly involved victims in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Lebanon, Qatar, Singapore and South Africa, the Daily Mail reports.
The charges reportedly carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
The 51-year-old - who is also known as Daniel Erefor, Daniel Allert and Tony Lynch - was in December last year sentenced to 15 months' jail after pleading guilty to defrauding a Kiwi man in a scam between August and September 2008.
He had claimed to have "exclusive rights" to energy drink vending machines in the South Island and used a false identity to sell a Christchurch man looking for a business opportunity to run in his retirment 47 vending machines for NZ$533,000.
Albert did not have exclusive rights.
Australian police now allege Albert conducted several other scams between 2012 and 2016 - including one he is alleged to have set up through a company called Identical You that involved a body scanner he claimed could be used to make 3D-printed models of people.
Other companies registered in Australia that were allegedly associated with the scams included First Aerial, Switched on Social.
Another franchise business - Glamour Nail - Albert was involved with was deregistered in 2015.
Through that venture Albert is alleged to have pocketed AU$620,000 (NZ$684,000) from one man in 2012.
He had been banned from managing corporations in Australia for three years after dodgy franchising schemes folded owing AU$2.4m (NZ$2.5m) , when he came to New Zealand in 2007, the Herald reported in December 2016.
On Friday, Albert appeared in Sydney's Central Local Court via video link.
At the hearing his lawyer Greg Goold said Albert had "voluntarily" handed himself into New Zealand police.
He is yet to enter a plea, but Goold told media he Albert would likely plead not guilty.
"This may well be a civil dispute instead of a criminal dispute. It depends on whether the products police say existed did exist," Goold said, according to the Daily Mail.
Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis told Nine News people had lost their life savings in Albert's schemes and Australian police would seek compensation on behalf of the victims.
7News reports that Albert was denied bail.
A AU$3 million house is among his assets that have been frozen pending the trial.
Albert's partner Kelly Hannah, 48, is understood to have been his accomplice and faces 35 counts of fraud in relation to the alleged offending.