A Balgownie man has been granted bail after he allegedly convinced a disabled and "vulnerable" man to give him money.
Matthew Burston, 31, was arrested on Friday before he faced Wollongong Local Court over allegations he dishonestly obtained financial advantage by deception and detained the man with intent to gain an advantage.
Police documents tendered to court alleged Burston swindled an unknown amount of money from a 55-year-old Tarrawanna man who is vulnerable due to his cognitive impairment, limited mobility and memory loss.
The allegations against Burston were partially explained to police by the man's disability care worker who had been able to get limited information from his client.
Police allege Burston attended the man's home about 10.30am on June 16 last year where the carer answered the door before the man greeted him.
The carer told police he overheard the pair having a conversation where Burston allegedly demanded $200 from the man before saying "you have to do something about my blocked account. I can't get into the account because they said it's blocked because of some fraudulent activity".
The carer was concerned as his client does not have online banking and noticed Burston was allegedly agitated when asking for the money.
Burston then allegedly showed the carer a video on his phone of the man sitting in his lounge room with Burston recording and holding what appeared to be a small plastic bag containing drugs.
Burston alleged waved the bag in front of the man's face before saying, "this will be another $50".
The carer told police he believed Burston was allegedly attempting to justify why he was asking for the cash, indicating the man owed him money for drugs.
Police allege the man told his carer Burston had previously forced his way into his home and demanded he withdraw cash and give it to him.
Later that day, the carer took his client to the bank to withdraw cash and asked staff if there had been any suspicious transactions on the man's account.
Bank staff allegedly said some online transfers from the man's savings account had been blocked.
Police allege Burston made the transfers, in varying amounts, to himself or to a woman known to him. Police further allege the man gave Burston the withdrawn cash at some time later.
After viewing CCTV footage and records, police allege Burston and another man accompanied the alleged victim in a taxi to the bank on November 6 last year.
Police allege Burston called a taxi to the man's home before the trio got into the taxi and were taken to the ANZ bank in Wollongong about 4pm.
The two men allegedly waited outside the bank while the alleged victim entered.
A security guard noticed the men and told them to leave after the man appeared reluctant to leave with the pair.
Police are yet to establish if the man met up with the pair and handed them the money.
Police said the man's family have made arrangements to control his finances and he must attend the bank in person to withdraw money, with staff assisting him and monitoring any inconsistencies.
Burston was arrested at his home before being taken to Wollongong Police Station and charged.
In court on Friday, Burston's lawyer Anthony Stewart told the court his client denied the allegations and noted the case against him did not appear strong.
Mr Stewart said Burston was starting to "turn his life around" as he had no outstanding charges before the court, had stopped taking drugs and was trying to get his driver's licence.
Magistrate Michael O'Brien granted Burston bail despite labelling his criminal record "shocking", noting it was "littered" with offences of dishonesty and driving charges and warrants for his arrest.
He ordered Burston live at his Balgownie home, report to police three times a week, not contact or go near the alleged victim or witness, abide by a nighttime curfew and not take drugs.
The case was adjourned to July 7.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.