Fraudster out of jail, then straight back in

GEORGE KAROUNIS has had many aliases.

He has been known at different times and in different countries as Giorgios Karounis, George Kaye and Jack Albert. But it is one of the 49-year-old's other aliases - George Young - that may ring a bell with musically minded readers.

It is the name of the guitarist from the famous Australian band the Easybeats, who is also the older brother of rock maestros Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC.

For some years it was suspected that George Karounis, of south-west Sydney, may have been responsible for a string of international frauds in which he pretended to be George Young, including selling AC/DC concerts to Finnish jazz festivals and persuading Londoners to pay for promised careers in the music industry.

It now appears Mr Karounis may be facing the music, at least in part. On Monday, on the day he completed a five-year, three-month sentence for fraud in Silverwater prison, Mr Karounis was hit with another arrest warrant - this time courtesy of the Finnish government.

He was immediately taken to Auburn police station and was placed back in custody.

The warrant speaks only of ''fraud'' committed in Finland and indicates that the Finnish government is seeking to have him extradited.

But Fairfax Media understands that it relates to the alleged defrauding of the organisers of a Finnish jazz festival to the tune of €50,000 in 2003.

''An application has been made to me, in the statutory form, on behalf of Finland … for the issue of a warrant for the arrest of George Karounis (also known as Giorgios Karounis, George Young, George Kaye,'' the ACT magistrate Lorraine Walker wrote in issuing the warrant on behalf of the Finnish government.

The 49-year-old appeared in Burwood local court on Tuesday in relation to the warrant.

Dressed in a white shirt and with close-cropped hair he exhibited perhaps a passing resemblance to the musician he allegedly pretended to be.

His solicitor, Peter Katsoolis, did not apply for bail, but foreshadowed such an application when the matter returns to court next month.

Mr Katsoolis made a request for more information about the nature of the charges against his client, but this was not provided by the solicitor representing the Finnish government.

Two of Mr Karounis's family members appeared in court to support him.

Among the other alleged frauds committed by a man pretending to be George Young in Europe is that committed against a young AC/DC fan with dreams of working in the music industry.

The man met the fake Young at his local pub, the Churchill Arms, in London's Notting Hill. At first the impostor was all smiles, playing good mate to the men and gentleman to the ladies.

Within a month he was offering jobs in ''rock'n'roll'', such as courses in event management. But there was a catch: it required a money deposit in advance, reimbursed after the work started.

The fake Young took £700 from the young man, his credit card, and copies of his passport and other identification.

There is no evidence directly linking Mr Karounis with this crime.

Mr Karounis was jailed in 2007 on more than 20 counts of fraud in which he posed as a big investment firm and a director of a prominent Australian travel agency chain.

He is currently on parole.

This story Fraudster out of jail, then straight back in first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.