Armed with the fake cards and a shopping list, a team of shoppers purchased goods, many of which were sent overseas, predominantly to South East Asia, police say.
Following a series of raids across Sydney and Melbourne, five men and a woman faced court on Thursday in connection with the syndicate.
Tony Hancock, 53, from Strathfield in Sydney's west, is facing 20 charges over the alleged syndicate including dishonestly obtaining and dealing in personal financial information, conspiracy to cheat and defraud, and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Outside Sydney's Central Local Court on Thursday, Hancock's solicitor Mark Runmore said the charges would be "vigorously denied" along with police allegations that Hancock was the head of the syndicate.
"He's just a businessman from Macau and he's been in Australia for quite some time," Mr Runmore told reporters.
Identity information allegedly gathered by Hancock was given to Kha Weng Foong, 35, from Potts Point, who used specialised equipment to produce fake credit cards and Medicare cards which were returned to Hancock, police said in documents tendered to the court.
The cards were then distributed to "shoppers", some of whom were arrested at Chatswood on May 26, police say.
"It will be alleged that the `shoppers' were then directed as to what was to be purchased with the cards and received a percentage of the value of the items purchased with the fraudulent credit cards," police said in statement issued before the court appearance.
At Foong's home, police allege, officers found "credit card embossers", encoders, blank credit cards and "computers containing software that was specifically designed for the making of false ... credit cards and Medicare cards".
Foong faces 12 charges including dishonestly obtaining and dealing in personal financial information, conspiracy to cheat and defraud, and participating in a criminal group.
Facing the same court on Thursday in connection with the alleged syndicate were: Smithfield man Quoc Du Hua, 45; Yung Feng Yun, 26, from Burwood; and Mortdale man Henley Han, 53.
Each faced charges of conspiracy and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
All five men were refused bail, their matters adjourned until September 9.
However, the court was told Han will make a bail application in the same court on July 8.
In Victoria, a 28-year-old woman allegedly linked to the syndicate appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court where police successfully applied for her extradition to Sydney.
She is due to face Sydney's Central Local Court on Friday.
A seventh man, aged 35, arrested in Melbourne, will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 10.
During a press conference on Thursday morning, investigators said many of the goods sent overseas had been recovered, along with some of the funds netted by the alleged syndicate.
Goods allegedly bought by it included electronic equipment, alcohol, perfume, mobile phone cards, and cigarettes.
aap 2 Jul 2009
This is another CLASSIC case where the 'little' guy gets caught carrying out fraud against companies.
When companies carry out fraud against people, in the example of Henry Kaye $18m fraud charges dropped where others of influence are implicated (Lawyers, Bank Managers, Real Estate agents, etc), there is rarely ANY legal consequences.
The law in Australia supports Corporate Fraud, if you're part of the 'boys club'