An Australian man has been extradited from New Zealand after allegedly defrauding at least 35 people from nine countries of more than $5.6 million through fraudulent investment schemes.
Dressed in a dark T-shirt and tracksuit pants, Daniel Albert, 51, was escorted by detectives through Sydney Airport to a waiting police vehicle on Friday morning.
He was then taken to Mascot police station where he was charged with 35 counts of fraud. He was arrested in Auckland on Wednesday.
NSW Police allege that a body scanner that would supposedly allow people to make 3D-printed models of themselves or their pets was one of many scams.
The elaborate schemes involved registered companies including some named First Aerial, Switched on Social and 3D selfie printer franchise Identical You.
Police allege the scams affected people in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Lebanon, Qatar, Singapore and South Africa.
The 51-year-old is alleged to have defrauded one man of $620,000 in 2012 with a fraudulent franchise venture called Glamour Nail.
An archived web page for the nail business indicates it would have offered small kiosks capable of painting more than 1000 designs onto fingernails.
Australia's corporate regulator deregistered a Woollahra company of the same name in 2015.
Detectives from the State Crime Command's fraud and cybercrime squad began investigations into multiple fraudulent investments schemes in 2015, establishing Strike Force Summercloud.
Fraud and Cybercrime Commander Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said the investigation of financial deception or fraud was "never an easy task", describing it as both "tedious" and "frustrating for victims".
"It generally involves analysing mountains of documents and tracking multiple transactions and payments around the world," he said.
"Given the scope of the investigation to date, we are continuing our inquiries to ensure we put anyone responsible for any NSW-based fraudulent franchise scams before the courts," Superintendent Katsogiannis said.
Mr Albert appeared at Central Local Court on Friday via audio-visual link.
His lawyer Greg Goold told the court his client had "voluntarily" handed himself in to New Zealand police this week.
Mr Goold declined an opportunity to enter a plea in court on behalf of his client, but told the media outside court that he anticipated his client would plead not guilty.
"This may well be a civil dispute instead of a criminal dispute," he said, adding, "It depends on whether the products police say existed did exist."
Mr Albert, whose address is listed as a luxury apartment in Potts Point, was remanded in custody, with the matter adjourned to November 24.
Superintendent Katsogiannis defended the length of time it took to arrest and charge Mr Albert, even though he was known to police for many years.
"It's one thing a person being known to us, another thing people coming forward, making complaints and providing evidence for us to be able to investigate and put this person before the courts," he said.
He said dealing with different types of international law was "not as easy" as people may think.
It is understood Mr Albert owns a number of properties, which are being considered by forensic accountants, in an effort to provide compensation to the victims.
Friday's extradition follows the arrest earlier this year of a 48-year-old woman, who was also charged with 35 counts of fraud, following an investigation by Strike Force Summercloud.
In July, strike force detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Woollahra, where investigators seized computers, electronic storage devices and documentation for forensic analysis.
The woman remains before the courts.
#BreakingNews on the arrest of an alleged conman accused of fleecing millions of dollars from investors. #9ACAhttps://t.co/gZRxQiWsIspic.twitter.com/Xoxyebm9x7??? A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) November 9, 2017