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Man bailed over $1.2m phone fraud ! - 5/17/2006 9:30:42 AM   

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From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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A CHINESE-born businessman has been charged in Brisbane with defrauding a host of telephone companies out of more than $1 million in unpaid calls.

Vincent Chen, 51, from Pinjarra Hills in Brisbane's west, was arrested by police today and charged in the Brisbane Magistrates Court with six counts of fraud.

Police allege Mr Chen was part of a scam that involved the opening of phone accounts with six different telecommunication providers, including Telstra and Primus, then selling the accounts to customers.

The customers racked up long-distance calls through 30 different phone lines, but police allege the company Mr Chen was involved with did not pass the payments on to the phone companies.

Mr Chen is charged with helping to steal $1.16 million from December 2005 until January 2006.

Police allege this included individual losses of $425,949 to M2 Protel and $288,413 to Saise Telecommunications.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Mark Lingwood opposed bail because Mr Chen was deemed a flight risk.

But Magistrate Liz Hall granted him bail on condition he surrender his passport, not approach an airport and report twice a week to police.

Mr Chen will reappear for committal mention in Brisbane on July 31.

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