Infamous helicopter escapee John Killick, currently fighting a raft of charges relating to a fraud racket, met the co-accused and fraud ringleader Dean Ryan when the pair both appeared on the ABC TV series You Can’t Ask That.
Killick, famously plucked from Silverwater prison in a sightseeing helicopter hijacked at gunpoint by his Russian lover Lucy Dudko, and Dean Ryan – previously convicted of fraud-related charges – appeared on an ex-prisoners' episode of the show in 2014.
Ryan told ABC viewers that prison had rehabilitated him.
"For me it worked. It was me coming to the realisation that I needed to change my ways, I was away from my loved ones," he said.
Five years later, Ryan awaits a prison sentence after pleading guilty to presiding over a fraud syndicate that stole over $2 million through a sophisticated identity theft scam.
Killick was charged with three counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and one count of possessing suspected stolen property in relation to his alleged role in the scam.
He has entered a plea of not guilty, and remains free on bail awaiting trial. He will return to court in July.
Ryan and co-director Joseph La Hood, 56, have both pleaded guilty to their roles in the syndicate, and will be sentenced in August.
Court documents seen by The Sun-Herald show that the group spearheaded by Ryan and Mr La Hood created 388 fraudulent customer profiles, opened 846 bank accounts, secured 185 credit cards and procured 15 personal loans that stole over $2 million over a period of several years.
Stolen mail including Medicare cards, drivers licences and bills provided the information to create bank accounts from the stolen identities of hundreds of innocent Sydneysiders.
Once the bank accounts were established, the fraudsters would apply for credit cards and personal loans, ordering them to "convenient" addresses close to their Wiley Park and Mascot homes and stealing the mail with letterbox master keys.
The group would withdraw cash in $1,000 allotments and transfer money to transactional accounts to then spend.
The group also bought $187,346.53 worth of goods at various shopping centres across Sydney, and transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to their own, legitimate bank accounts.
Ryan used the money sent to his personal account to make the final payment on a Mitsubishi Outlander, while Ryan’s partner Linda Loriz – charged with participating in a criminal group, dealing with the proceeds of crime and dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage – allegedly use the $100,000 allegedly sent to her account for the mortgage on her mother’s home infertility treatments and private school fees.
Ms Loriz has not entered a plea, and will return to court on July 4.
The ABC was contacted for comment.