TORQUAY racing identity Bill Vlahos is recovering from facial injuries after being bashed at the home of his troubled high-flying racing syndicate, BC3 Thoroughbreds.
Neighbours today recalled rushing to help Mr Vlahos as he lay bleeding on the nature strip of the Connewarre property about 8.10pm on Sunday.
The attack was at Grace Park, the `home of BC3 Thoroughbreds’, a punters syndicate which was recently revealed to have lost millions of dollars.
The assailants also torched Mr Vlahos’ ute.
A neighbour today told of arriving at the scene shortly after the incident to find the ute fully engulfed in flames and Mr Vlahos with bruises on his face and blood on his shirt
“I’d just woken up because I’d been asleep before I went on night shift. (My daughter) yelled out `mum there’s all this black smoke’,” the neighbour said.
“He was just lying on the nature strip out the front of the house he was conscious but in shock.
“It was full on. Usually it’s a pretty quiet area, no one knows where Connewarre is.”
Ambulance Victoria has confirmed the injured man refused transport to hospital.
Crime scene investigators today arrived at the Randles Rd property about 10am and examined the wrecked ute.
Last week Mr Vlahos, the BC3 syndicate’s chairman, told a court that he was “shocked and devastated” that almost $200 million had disappeared from his punters’ club.
Bill Vlahos. Source: News Limited
News Corp understands several high-profile members of the punters club, including former Melbourne Demons president Don McLardy, have lost money in the scheme.
It is understood some of the members of the club had more than $1 million invested in the scheme, which claimed to provide returns of more than 25 per cent a year.
And there could be several hundred members of the club – including senior people from the AFL, the media, the building industry and retail worlds.
Mr Vlahos told News Corp that he had invested heavily in the punting club and BC3 Thoroughbreds and was yet to pay off a mortgage for a Torquay property.
Mr Vlahos had said last week that club members would be paid within two weeks.
But on Friday he told the NSW Supreme Court he had “no idea” where the money could be.
Mr Vlahos will return to court next week.
The scene of the overnight assault. Source: News Limited