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Lawyer extradited over missing money

ALLEGATIONS: The vintage biplane which crashed near Imbil in 2012, killing six people.
ALLEGATIONS: The vintage biplane which crashed near Imbil in 2012, killing six people. Nicola Brander

A FORMER Brisbane lawyer has been extradited to Sydney to face allegations he took $1.145 million from the deceased estate of Imbil plane crash victims John and Carol Dawson.

The Courier Mail reported this week that 45-year-old Russell Biddle faced three counts of fraud allegedly committed between November 29, 2012, and March 5, 2013, when he faced Brisbane Magistrates Court.

John and Carol Dawson, both 63, were killed when the vintage De Havilland biplane they were travelling in with friends crashed into bushland near Imbil during low cloud on October 1, 2012.

Experienced pilot Des Porter, 68, his wife Kath, 61, Les D'Evlin, 75, and his wife Janice, 61, also died in the crash on their way home from an air show at Monto.

The Courier Mail reported on Thursday that the beneficiary of the Dawson's estate was a woman who allegedly engaged Biddle Lawyers to manage the proceeds.

It said police prosecutor Sgt Scott Pearson said the beneficiary discovered that at least three separate transactions were made from the estate to an unidentified personal bank account with Suncorp Bank, which allegedly belonged to the law firm's principal, Biddle.

The transactions allegedly totalled $1.145 million and were not instructed by the beneficiary.

Investigators alleged Biddle was difficult to contact in the months that followed and eventually the estate beneficiary was informed that he no longer worked at the firm.

Biddle has been remanded in custody.

Gympie Times

Topics:  brisbane magistrates court, russell biddle



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