Blow to boiler-room accused cop and son
FORMER Gold Coast police detective Michael Featherstone and his son Zach will no longer be represented by a lawyer as they defend allegations of involvement in a multimillion-dollar boiler room scam.
The Featherstones were in 2016 charged with fraud after a 20-month probe by Queensland's corruption watchdog into an alleged cold-calling syndicate operating on the Glitter Strip.
They were among 10 people charged with fraud offences in relation to the alleged $15-$20 million boiler-room operation.
Reality TV star Daniel Webb is also facing two fraud charges involving over $30,000 police say was gained from the syndicate.
Webb previously starred on Channel 9's hit show Married at First Sight.
The 35-year-old car broker also played rugby league for the Currumbin Eagles.
The scheme allegedly targeted more than 600 victims and police claim investors were asked to pay $500-1000 for a four-day trial of betting and investment software and then made to sign 12-month contracts.
In an ongoing saga, the Featherstones were denied Legal Aid funding for their matter last year.
The taxpayer-funded legal service had refused to cover the former detective and his son's defence, saying Featherstone was "living above his means".
The decision was subject to judicial review, which was unsuccessful.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court was told yesterday the father and son would now be self-represented, as they could not afford a lawyer and Legal Aid Queensland would not fund their defence.
As a result, their long-time lawyer Daniel Hannay withdrew from the case, saying his clients were "not in a position to get private representation" and if they were, he would still be acting for the pair.
When asked by Magistrate Anthony Gett if he would be able to engage a lawyer later down the track, Zach Featherstone said he would not be in a position to do so after "reputational damage" had stopped him from growing his business or gaining employment.
The matter will return to court on March 30.