Conman Hamish McClaren is a master manipulator. He swindled victim after victim around the world, taking tens of millions of dollars from them.
But through listening to The Australian’s investigative podcast Who The Hell Is Hamish a sinister and terrifyingly convincing pattern of behaviour is emerging, that shows exactly how this criminal convinced people he was someone they should trust.
When Aussie actor Matt Nable met him in 2000, he’d made a name for himself as a high-flier thanks to his trophy girlfriend; model and TV personality Gabrielle Richens or ‘The Pleasure Machine’ as she was known.
He had boats, multiple flashy cars and houses, and private jets. He appeared to have it all, and was at every A-list party in Sydney.
Here is a chat Mia had on No Filter with Hedley Thomas, the journalist behind The Australian’s last investigative podcast.
He told Nable, who was Hamish’s strength and conditioning coach at the time, he was best friends with Tom Cruise and Kerry Packer.
“He would put on a show that was so elaborate and so easy to invest in,” Nable told the podcast.
“He had manufactured such a show, a pantomime. I remember looking at him thinking ‘this guy is doing so well’,” he said.
But how? How did he manufacture such a show?
In the mid 1990s Hamish was a trader on Sydney Futures Exchange floor. It was a private boys club at its core, they were all from similar demographics and and became friends...despite being competitors.
In that circle, Hamish was known as a "one trade Charlie."
"He used to have a local seat on the floor and he'd trade, but he'd trade one or two a day but would make out it was 20 - 30. It was all rubbish. He was full of s***," trader Tom Brown told the podcast.
Basically, he'd talk big but trade small. He was there as local trader, which means he didn't work for anyone. Doing that, fellow trader Nick Park explained he would be lucky to make $40,000 a year.
At first, he was just the butt of jokes, and was ridiculed for being a fanciful liar.
"We used to laugh at him. No matter what you'd done, he'd have done better," said Mr Park.
If someone told the group about their recent skiing trip, Hamish would tell everyone he used to be a leading ski instructor.