A husband accused of running a $15million fraud operation with his twin brother first came to police attention for allegedly using a rifle for a gender reveal with his wife.
Twins Charbel and Elie Douna, 33, were arrested on February 17 in police raids across the Illawarra region, south of Sydney.
The directors of Albion Park’s LuxLiving have been accused of falsifying documents to get a $14.7million loan to build luxury properties on a 92-home estate in Avondale, near Wollongong.
They appeared in Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday for the first time since their arrests and remained silent before leaving together after their matter was adjourned to June 30.
Court documents seen by
The footage allegedly shows the high-flying property developer shooting a balloon with a rifle to unveil the sex of their new child despite it sitting just above his wife’s head.
He has been charged with ‘disregard for the safety of his wife, himself and/or other persons’ and for using the firearm without ‘genuine reason’.
Charbel (left) and Elie (right) Douna, 33, were charged over an alleged multimillion-dollar fraud scheme
It was Charbel’s (pictured with wife Sara) gender reveal video that first attracted police attention. He has been charged over the stunt, court documents revealed
Police allege the twins made 10 legitimate sales for their high-end development but forged the contracts for nine others in a bid to get a loan from Australian Unity Bank.
Detective Chief Inspector Glen Broadhead said the allegedly illegitimate contacts were ‘put in names of people who have not purchased land or had no intention to purchase land’.
‘We believe the specific reason for those [allegedly] false contracts was to support the loan application to ensure the business appeared to have sufficient funds to move forward with the loan application,’ he told the .
Police also allege their real estate friend Ben Feltham, from Right Choice Real Estate in Albion Park, published the false sale contracts.
The 35-year-old turned himself into police at Lake Illawarra Police Station last month.
Feltham did not appear in court on Wednesday after his case was moved to June 30.
During searches of the brothers’ homes in Calderwood and Wongawilli, detectives seized financial documents, poker machines, electronic devices and firearms for forensic examination.
The twins were each charged with 19 counts of publishing false and misleading information to obtain advantage, dishonestly obtaining a financial advance by deception and participating in a criminal group to contribute to criminal activity.
Feltham was charged with nine counts of publishing false or misleading information to obtain advantage and participating in a criminal group to contribute criminal activity.
Charbel can be seen in the video firing the rifle at the balloon sitting just metres above his wife’s head which police say was ‘disregard’ for her safety
Sara and Emily (pictured) Douna have amassed a combined following of over 110,000 Instagram users by flaunting their extravagant lifestyles
Detectives seized financial documents, poker machines (right), electronic devices and firearms (left) for forensic examination
The new charges comes weeks after it emerged that the twins’ glamorous wives had resorted to offloading their designer clothes on judi online marketplace Depop.
Their wives Sara and Emily Douna have amassed a combined following of over 110,000 Instagram users by flaunting their extravagant lifestyles.
Sara and Emily regularly post photos of lavish European holidays, weekend stays at The Langham, first class plane tickets, upscale dining and designer clothes.
Elie’s wife-of-four-years Emily listed a pair of Valentino stud heels for $300, a Camilla dress for $399, and $450 Sophia Webster sandals.
The mother-of-three was also selling heavily discounted accessories, including $25 Carolina Lemke sunglasses that retail for $150, and a $300 Gucci headband with an RRP of $500.
Sara, who shares four young children with Charbel, was trying to offload 16 designer items, including Valentino flats and a Dolce & Gabbana outfit.
Neither women have been accused of any involvement in their husbands’ alleged crimes.
Emily Douna (pictured with husband Elie) returned to Instagram on Monday for the first time since her husband’s arrest
Emily and Elie (pictured) have three young children together