Melbourne caf accused of swindling $40k from elderly customer

11 September, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

A caf in Melbourne is being accused of allowing an elderly customer to withdraw $40,000 cash from its premises and a nearby ATM over a two year period.

Matthew and David Fusedale, the sons of Ross Fusedale, took over their father’s finances earlier this year following a diagnosis of early onset dementia.

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As reported by Channel Nine, David Fusedale said that a caseworker had expressed concern in relation to the amount of money that his father appeared to be spending. After a closer look at their father’s financial records and bank statements, Fusedale’s sons discovered that $40,000 had been withdrawn from a small suburban caf and ATM over a two year period.

In early December 2013, $1,000 cash was withdrawn from the caf. The following week, $200 was withdrawn from the caf and a further $400 cash was taken out from an ATM on the same day. Similar patterns occurred over a two year period.

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Matthew and David Fusedale say that their father did not recall making the transactions when they brought up the issue with him.

The owners of the caf – who have not been named for legal reasons – say that Fusedale often used the caf as an ATM. They also claimed that Fusedale was often accompanied by a lady, whom they believe was the person convincing Fusedale to withdraw the cash.

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“He was a special customer, we used to give it to him,” the owners told Channel Nine.

Small business expert, Dr Greg Chapman told Channel Nine that he found it strange that a small suburban caf would keep large amounts of cash on the premises, let alone allow a customer to withdrawal hundreds of dollars at a time.

“Certainly caf and other businesses like that do like to try and look after their best customers… but they don’t supply an ATM service to most customers,” said Chapman.