When Toni Brady met a man named Adam Cranston through a mutual friend two years ago she had no idea what was to follow.
Within days she had a job as his assistant, within months he’d bought her a Jeep Grand Cherokee. And, as she told The Herald Sun, the gifts kept coming. There was jewellery, designer clothes, plastic surgery, and overseas trips.
“He made me the happiest I’ve ever been. He was the only guy that really showed that he cared about me and loved me,” the 24-year-old told The Herald Sun. “Being with him made me feel like I was at home.”
That man, who has since married, has now been arrested as part of one of the largest white-collar crimes in Australian history. That man is the son of the Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office.
Here’s how the story unfolded.
The alleged scam
$165 million. That’s how much the Australian Federal Police will allege has been stolen from the Commonwealth by a group of high-flying men, including Adam Cranston.
The 30-year-old was arrested in Sydney yesterday (and later granted bail) as part of Operation Elbrus, which – as of this morning – has seen 10 people brought into police custody. Among them, his 24-year-old sister, Lauren.
The accused face various charges, including conspiracy to defraud, dealing with proceeds of crime and blackmail.
Police don't believe Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston was aware of his son's actions. However, he has been issued with a future court attendance notice for allegedly abusing his position as a public official by trying to access restricted information on an audit involving the young man.