Aaron Baslangic, a top executive at Australian retail giant Coles, was arrested last Friday and has since been charged with multiple thefts and deceptions. It is alleged that Baslangic stole close to $2 million Australian dollar (equivalent to USD 1,3 Million) from the retailer using faked invoices.
Police says that Baslangic used the money to pay for his expensive lifestyle, rent, BMW and his Jiu-Jitsu tournament expenditures.
Baslangic is a BJJ blue belt who trains at Debeen 100% Jiu Jitsu academy. He competes all over Australia and was preparing to compete at the IBJJF world Masters in Las Vegas, USA before his arrest.
Competing in Jiu-Jitsu can be very expensive especially if you travel to compete (plane ticket, hotel, food, competition registration etc…). A trip from Australia to Las Vegas with all the expenses can be as high as USD 3,000.
The company has told the court it had uncovered 13 “questionable” payments Mr Baslangic made, ranging from $48,000 to $413,139.
According to court documents lodged in the case, Coles discovered the suspicious transactions in the lead up to migrating a new payments platform.
Some of the payments were accompanied by invoices sent from Mr Baslangic’s personal email while others had no supporting invoices at all.
Mr Baslangic, who previously worked in Coles’ finance team for its online division, was also accused of sending falsified emails to Coles’ accounts departments to show that Coles Online general manager Karen Donaldson approved the payments.
In recent months, Baslangic competed in state Australian competitions in Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. He showed off his medals proudly on social media channels.
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