Michael John Henderson has been sentenced to jail for seven-and-a-half years for stealing $1.3 million to pay off the debts of his Greek friend to underworld gangsters.
The 58-year-old had failed to appear in Court at his original set date and was now sentenced on 80 dishonesty charges.
Former director of an IT company, Henderson told the Court that he stole the money from IBM in an attempt of rescuing his Greek friend Demetrios Belias, who owed money to dangerous underworld loan sharks.
Belias had been murdered in 1999, in an underground parking lot, but Henderson was allegedly forced to pay the rest of his friend’s debt.
According to the Herald Sun, the fraud was uncovered in 1999 before the debt had been paid off and Henderson was arrested. Belias was one of the 36 listed victims of Australia’s gangland war that year.