Gold Coast business people undone by crime.
Gold Coast business people undone by crime.

Highlife to low-life: Coast business stars undone by crime

FROM big homes to the big house, Gold Coast business leaders and entrepreneurs aren't always the success stories they first appear to be. Here are some of our top millionaires and moguls who have been undone by crime.

Michael Issakidis.
Michael Issakidis.


A Glitter Strip developer and medical tech company who moved to the Coast in the 1980s, he and his wife Donrecka were known for their lavish taste and penchant for the finer things in life.

Once considered one of the Gold Coast's wealthiest, the couple were often seen dripping in jewels and showing off their luxury car collection.

He was known for once hiring a Lear Jet to fly to Sydney for a shopping trip.

In 2017, Issakidis was found guilty of conspiring with his NeuMedix business partner Anthony Dickson in a multimillion-dollar tax evasion and money laundering schemes which defrauded the tax office of more than $60 million.

The scheme involved claiming depreciation expenses against patients whose prices had been over-inflated and laundering money through overseas bank accounts in the Canary Islands.

Issakidis was this year found guilty of netting more than $15 million from the scheme.

Issakidis was sentenced to 7.5 years in jail in 2018.

In 2019, the millionaire failed to have his conviction overturned by the court of appeal.

There is no suggestion Donrecka was involved in any wrongdoing.

Craig Gore (left) with a barrister.
Craig Gore (left) with a barrister.


A Gold Coast rich lister of the highest order was this week found guilty of defrauding more than $345,000 from self-managed super fund investors.

The property developer, who had twice filed for bankruptcy, was found guilty on five of 12 charges in Brisbane District Court on October 27.

An Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation found Gore had enticed about 400 people to use their superannuation to invest in schemes in the United States and British Virgin Islands.

Mr Gore also owed $282 million to creditors when he went bankrupt in late 2012 after he defaulted on a personal insolvency agreement with debts of $495 million.

It was alleged the money was used to pay for company debts and rent on his Queensland home.

Bradley Keith Silver.
Bradley Keith Silver.




(also known as Tony Silver)

Silver was sentenced to eight years in jail for dishonesty offences totalling over $4.7 million in 2019.

Silver, who was involved in investment schemes Capital Growth International Club Pty Ltd and All About Property Pty Ltd, was nabbed at the Brisbane airport in 2017 following an ASIC investigation.

He plead guilty to seven counts of fraud and six counts of dishonestly using his position as a director.

The ASIC Commissioner at the time said Silver had deliberately targeted the elderly and convinced people to borrow against their homes.

He unsuccessfully appealed his eight and a half year sentence in May 2020.

Ken Lacey. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Ken Lacey. Picture: Glenn Hampson



The former milk baron was sentenced in 2018 to two-and-a-half-years jail after he pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying cocaine.

In 2016 police found 13 bags of cocaine with a total weight of 43 grams worth around $15,000 in his high-rise apartment.

Lacey was jailed in May and released in August 2018 after he became eligible for parole.

He faced court again while incarcerated on a bizarre paperwork bungle, where he pleaded guilty to giving a false address on a passport renewal form.

Nicolette van Wijngaarden.
Nicolette van Wijngaarden.


The luxury real estate agent pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulently misusing more than $3.6 million in July 2019.

NSW Fair Trading said it was the largest case of real estate fraud it had recorded.

The fraud was uncovered by a Fair Trading audit last year in the wake of the agency's collapse.

One charge related to the misappropriation of sales deposits and the other to the misuse of rental payments by tenants.

Van Wijngaarden, the founder of Unique Estates, was given three years and six months in jail in November 2019. She will be eligible for parole after serving one year and six months.

John William Chardon. Picture: Darren England
John William Chardon. Picture: Darren England


The self-made Gold Coast millionaire made his money through his INOX range of lubricants, but later became known for the slaying of his wife Novy.

In 2019, Chardon was convicted of manslaughter over his wife's death and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Novy's body has never been found after she disappeared in 2013, amid divorce proceedings.

In 2016, John Chardon was also found guilty for molesting and raping his daughter's friend 15 years earlier.

Chardon died in prison this month aged 73 following a heart attack.

Matthew Perrin.
Matthew Perrin.


The former Billabong tycoon known for his lavish life was jailed for forging the signature of his ex-wife and brother in order to obtain $13.5 million from the Commonwealth Bank.

Perrin, who served as the former Billabong CEO, was sentenced to eight years in jail.

During sentencing, Judge Julie Dick criticised Perrin for having "no self-realisation or remorse".

Despite not being eligible for parole into June 2020 he was released in mid-2019.

Originally published as Highlife to low-life: Coast business stars undone by crime