Police officer who faked long-term gay relationship to scam a $6 million inheritance found guilty of fraud
A former police officer was found guilty of fraud for faking a long-term gay relationship with a pharmacist just hours after his death to scam his $6 million inheritance.
The Australian officer, Okan Yesilhat, attempted to contest pharmacist George Sclavos’ will by fabricating a 14-year secret relationship between them to claim he was the de facto partner of Sclavos and therefore entitled to his estate. The New South Wales Supreme Court judge called Yesilhat “manipulative” and “calculating”.
Just three and a half hours after Sclavos suffering a fatal heart attack, Yesilhat was found to have transferred $200,000 from the pharmacist’s account to his own, which “took all George’s credit and debit facilities to their available limits”, the Supreme Court heard.
Under Australian law, a couple can be considered de facto partners if they are unmarried but have lived together for at least two years without separation. However, there a number of other factors that can lead courts to consider two people in a de facto relationship, such as the length of the relationship, financial dependency and the degree of a mutual commitment to a shared life. Being considered a de facto partner gives one partner the right to challenge the other partner’s will if they die and claim their social security entitlements.
Sclavos originally left his estate to his two nieces, having never married or had children himself.
Okan Yesilhat married two different women during the 14 years he claimed he was in a relationship with Sclavos.
Yesilhat was found guilty of 14 charges relating to fraud and the misappropriation of money from Sclavos’ accounts. He was sentenced to a two-year intensive corrections order, similar to parole, and 750 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay costs relating to his various legal challenges to the will, which all failed.
Justice Michael Slattery said Yesilhat “dishonestly diverted to himself or for his benefit all the funds transferred from the deceased’s accounts on and from the day of the deceased’s death.”
He later described Okan Yesilhat as “cold, very cold” and a “highly calculating individual” who “survives and thrives purveying misinformation and inventing stories”.
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