He told a friend he was a pall-bearer at the funeral of the Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu - but the office of her son, the Maori King, has never heard of him.
He claimed to be a member of the Tahitian royal family - but the Tahitian royal family have never heard of him.
He said he had a first class honours degree in law and another degree in commerce from Victoria University - but there is no record of his having any degree in the university's roll of graduates.
There seems no end to the stories told by Hohepa (also known as Joseph and Joel) Morehu-Barlow, the boy from Thames accused of defrauding the Queensland health department of A$16 million ($21 million).
Morehu-Barlow faces one count of dishonestly obtaining A$11 million from Queensland Health where he was a financial manager, but is expected to face additional charges relating to the other A$5 million.
He allegedly has a criminal past in New Zealand - but neither the police nor the Justice Department will confirm or deny this, saying they can't comment because of the Privacy Act.
But as Queensland Premier Anna Bligh struggled to contain the substantial political fallout from the affair, the Queensland Police Commissioner, Bob Atkinson, said the Crime and Misconduct Commission had received a tip-off in August last year about Morehu-Barlow's alleged criminal past in New Zealand, as well as his questionable activities at Queensland Health.
The tip was apparently passed to the department's ethical standards division and to the police, but the claims were never verified with the New Zealand police and the Queensland fraud remained undetected.
Mr Atkinson admitted it would have been "a fairly straightforward process for us to have checked his background in New Zealand".
"Had those inquiries been made, they would, I believe, have identified issues concerning Mr Barlow that would have been of importance. Those inquiries were not made."
Morehu-Barlow grew up in Thames, attending Thames High School from 1989 to 1993, according to his profile on Old Friends.
It says he went on to Taranaki Polytechnic from 1994 to 1995 and did a diploma in business studies, then went to Victoria University, from 1996 to 2001, graduating with degrees in law and commerce and administration.
He has family in New Zealand and some in Australia.
Those contacted in New Zealand did not wish to comment, and friends in Australia are still grappling to come to terms with the dramatic fall of the flamboyant 36-year-old they thought charming and kind - who told what now appear to be very tall stories but for which he sometimes provided evidence at the time.
One friend, a former flatmate, told how Morehu-Barlow told him and others he was a pallbearer at the funeral of the Maori Queen - and showed them a video pointing himself out as one those carrying thecoffin.
"Hey look, at the time I was fairly sure that was him ... thinking back, it was a strange thing, to show a video to prove a point - you wouldn't normally have to do that but he felt the need to show us this tape."
When the Queen died, Morehu-Barlow wrote a message on a Herald Online tributes page, signing his full name and saying: "May we follow in your footsteps of humility, dignity, respect and honour."
But the office of the Maori King, King Tuheitia, told us it had no knowledge of him and that the late Queen's pallbearers were all chiefs from across the tribes of New Zealand.
Morehu-Barlow had also claimed he was a Tahitian Prince but Joinville Pomare, a Tahitian who says he is King Pomare XI, told the Courier Mail in Brisbane he was outraged: "This man is an impostor."
The friend in Brisbane was studying law when they flatted together and said Morehu-Barlow had told him he had a first-class honours degree from Victoria University, that he had found law easy and that he had a photographic memory, but there is no record on the graduate roll.
The friend had no reason to doubt him, but says he never believed another story - that as a consequence of his royal status Morehu-Barlow had diplomatic immunity, which he had used to get out of speeding fines.
On a forum discussing the New Zealander, another friend wrote that some of the lengths he went to were extraordinary.
"I've seen his invitation to Will and Kate's wedding. I've watched him drop $100k at Louis Vuitton (which closed down the store for him to shop in private) and I have also visited him in Paris at his apartment and seen the $300k paintings ..."
Hohepa Morehu-Barlow was worthy of an Academy Award, the friend wrote.