27 October 2013

Foster's Fijian Holiday

Given that I'm writing a book chapter at the moment about the psychology of white collar crime (Madoff, Stanford, Balfour, Ponzi, Kreuger, Maxwell etc)  it was interesting to see that serial scammer and self-described "international man of mischief" Peter Foster has supposedly skipped the country after being sentenced for contempt of court in connection with yet another bout of criminality. Whodathunkit.

The Sunday Mail breathlessly reports that
In an audacious bid for freedom, Foster, 51, disguised and travelling on a false passport, arrived early on Saturday in Fiji, where he will seek a protection visa. In an exclusive interview  ... Foster refused to reveal how he made it out of the country. He said his escape had left him exhausted and "sick to the stomach". "There is a sense of exhilaration," Foster said. "But I've left a beautiful home and a beautiful family now. I'm a stranger again. It's hard to celebrate. I know I should be happy but I'm not. I just feel incredible sadness."
Poor poor diddums. There's nothing like a narcissist who apparently believes his own stories - and persuades other people to believe them - and recurrently operates outside the law.
Last Thursday Justice Logan in the Brisbane District Court sentenced Foster to three years' jail on two charges of contempt of court relating to his involvement in the scam diet spray Sensaslim. Foster had been on the run since September 27 after Justice Logan found [ in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Chaste Corporation Pty Ltd (No 3) [2013] FCA 984] the self-proclaimed "international man of mischief" guilty of contempt. Peter Foster said he had been planning his escape for six months. Foster vowed to appear in court for sentencing last Thursday after he had put plans in place for the care of his elderly, ailing mother Louise should he be sent to prison. In the end, Foster failed to show, and was sentenced to three years' jail in absentia. Justice Logan said if Foster's mother died while he was incarcerated, he should be permitted to attend her funeral. Foster indicated on Saturday that he had been planning a possible escape for six months.
No great surprises there.
"This is not about avoiding jail. This is bigger than me. It's about my mother. She will not spend the twilight days of her life in a nursing home. She will spend it being cared for by me and she will spend it with a cool sea breeze in her hair, in the shade of a coconut palm. Her therapy will be floating in a blue lagoon. I just know this place will be my mother's fountain of youth. This whole thing was a malicious prosecution because it was Peter Foster. ... As far as I'm concerned, Justice Logan can shove it up his jacksie."
Foster earlier claimed that prosecution by the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over promotion to investors of SensaSlim was “vicious and malicious”.

The Courier Mail reports that Foster once boasted he had been locked up in 10 jails on three continents.
He has a history of jumping bail and going on the run.
In 1997 he went into hiding during proceedings to extradite him to England over a diet scam.
In that instance he was arrested in Melbourne two months later, with a family friend ordered to forfeit a $250,000 bond she had put up as surety for him.
Foster claims [PDF] to
have been an undercover operative for the Australian Federal Police (1993-94 and 1997) and Derbyshire Force Intelligence in England (1996) so perhaps it is in my nature to take risks and seek redemption for my own sins and misdemeanours by trying to expose evil.
Let's hope that his Fijian holiday doesn't last very long.