A Gold Coast man accused of murdering his wife had been accepting money to trade on the stock market in return for “risk-free bonuses”, a court has been told.
Andrew John Cobby is standing trial for the murder of Gaylene Cobby – known as Kym – whose body was found beaten and choked outside her Worongary, Gold Coast hinterland, home on November 12, 2017.
The 59-year-old denies the charge, pleading not guilty to killing the woman he called the “love of his life”.
The couple had been married for more than three decades, but mostly lived apart from 2003.
Cobby said he had an interest in the stock market and promised “risk-free bonuses” to those who gave him money to trade, Hector Bonelli told the Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday.
Mr Bonelli said he met Cobby – who he first knew by a different name – when both rented rooms in the same house.
After seeing trading accounts like one containing about $5 million on Cobby’s computer, Mr Bonelli brought others into the scheme.
The investors did not get paperwork for handing over up to $170,000, Mr Bonelli told the court.
They got some money returned at first, but then struggled to get information from Cobby about the rest.
After Cobby moved house without saying where he was living, the investors contacted Ms Cobby, Mr Bonelli said.
They claimed Cobby had told them to lie to her by saying they had received their money back.
“We told Kym, ‘Actually I’m sorry, Kym, we have to tell the truth, we never got our money back’,” Mr Bonelli told the court.
She set up a meeting in May 2016 with Cobby, Mr Bonelli, Karen Christie and Michael Roberts that was recorded and played in court on Friday.
The investors ask Cobby for proof their money was in accounts.
They also question whether Cobby had “tried to impress” them by lying about money he had and what he had done with it.
Cobby tells the group he had to move money around, paying for services and for accounts “to be freed up”.
But Mr Bonelli says Cobby lied and kept asking for time so he could “go away and manufacture things”.
“We don’t care what’s happening in your life,” he added.
“We understand your life is f***ed up.
Mr Roberts says his son, also an investor, was going into the army where he’d be subject to an ASIO security check.
Referring to the “fraudulent scheme” being a big problem, Mr Roberts tells the meeting he would “f***ing kill” for his son.
After Ms Cobby’s death, her husband told police they were both been threatened and faced demands for millions of dollars when would-be extortionists turned on him after teaching them currency trading.
“I have four individuals trying to extort money, but I couldn’t pay them,” he said.
He admitted being outside the property with his wife as she was concerned someone was at the house, but says he ran away into the bush when they were both assaulted by an unknown assailant.
Ms Cobby’s brother Brad Schultz told the court his sister may have misconstrued a comment about a “hit man” he made a couple of years before her death.
Mr Schultz said he had no intention of putting a hit man onto Cobby.
His recollection of what he said to his sister was that he was “just surprised that no one had gone out to hire a hit man”, he told the court on Friday.
The trial has heard from a police officer who determined Mr Bonelli was out of Australia at the time of the killing.
The trial continues before Justice Peter Callaghan.