Mark Standen Pic: Craig Greenhill
On 7 June 2008 Janet Fyfe-Yeomans of the Daily Telegraph reported “Sting 'caught accused Standen'” She said accused corrupt cop Mark Standen and his friend Bill Jalalaty were the victims of an international sting which fleeced them of more than $1 million which they had allegedly been given to set up the Australian end of a drug network. The bizarre money trail involved a psychic and clairvoyant, a convicted conman, a Caribbean bank account and a 220kg Texan debt collector who wears gloves with steel knuckles when he's "at work." And the man who has been accused of stealing the money, Bruce Way, yesterday told The Daily Telegraph that he was a victim, too.
Despite making his living as a psychic, Mr Way said he never saw it coming. "We were taken by ignorance and greed," he said. "We were all scammed. Absolutely." Standen, an assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission, and Jalalaty, a Blacktown food importer, were allegedly given money by a Dutch drug syndicate in 2006. Police allege the payment was to create a legitimate import history behind which pseudoephedrine could be smuggled into the country hidden in rice shipments. Jalalaty allegedly decided to invest some of it first.
It is alleged Standen then told Jalalaty about debt collector Frank Wheeler. Mr Wheeler has a two-sided business card. The front lists his specialties as "Private Investigation; Finance; Investment; Recovery of Money's". The back of the card offers 10 per cent discounts for funerals and medical emergencies. "It's much better to have me on your side than against you," Mr Wheeler said yesterday. "Mark Standen called me personally on my phone and said he had this guy with some problems."
Mr Wheeler said he visited Mr Way and met Standen inside the Crime Commission's Kent Street offices. Mr Way said he thought he was going to be charged by Standen and had no idea where he fitted into the tale until Monday when Standen and Jalalaty were arrested and charged with conspiracy to import and supply drugs. Australian Federal Police telephone taps allegedly recorded Standen and Jalalaty discussing Mr Way and Mr Wheeler's services. Mr Way said he had been unable to pay any money back because he had lost everything himself in the scam. Orehek was last year jailed for 18 months for fleecing members of the Hillsong Church of $4.6 million and flouting corporations law. Both Mr Way and Mr Wheeler said they had no idea the money was allegedly connected to drugs.
Lisa Davies - PIC told: investigate officer.
She said on his deathbed, crime boss Michael Hurley broke a life-long code and allegedly named Mark Standen as a corrupt policeman. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, a close Hurley confidant has detailed how it was possible he sparked investigations into the senior investigator with the NSW Crime Commission. The intermediary, who asked not to be named, has spoken of Hurley's long-running battle with Standen. Before he died, Hurley made a series of allegations to Police Integrity Commission investigators, begging them to look into Standen's activities. "If all you do is sit off him for six months, you'll find something," he allegedly told them. "At the very least, just tap his phones."
Mick Keelty Photo: Joh Woudsra
But after discussing the issue, he said something had to be done and sent his close friend to speak with them on his behalf. In a covert meeting at a Sydney coffee shop, a series of claims were made to the PIC including reference to a incident in which he alleged Standen had confronted Hurley outside the Hilton hotel. Hurley was also said to be disgusted that Standen and the Crime Commission had allowed an Operation Mocha informant, a man code-named Tom, to travel on an all-expenses paid trip overseas as an apparent reward for his information.