'Fake Prince' Joel Barlow's Hoard To Be Sold

'Fake Prince' Joel Barlow's Hoard To Be Sold

A hoard of luxury goods amassed by a health boss in Australia who posed as a Tahitian prince is to be auctioned off.

Items to go under the hammer include a fake crown belonging to New Zealand-born Hohepa Morehu-Barlow, also known as Joel Barlow, who is due in court next month over alleged fraud worth AUS\$16m (£10m)

Posing as a Tahitian prince in social circles, he enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, with an exclusive waterfront apartment, several sports cars and an array of luxury goods, allegedly funded by his theft.

Queensland health minister Lawrence Springborg said items from the former executive's estate were to be auctioned next month in a bid to retrieve the millions he is accused of stealing.

"The return of these funds ... will go a long way in the provision of essential frontline services," he said.                 

Morehu-Barlow's riverside apartment sold recently for AUS\$5.65m (£3.68m) and around 1,000 items seized from the property under proceeds of crime legislation will be on sale in Brisbane on March 10.

The auctioneers' catalogue says: "This estate comprises of almost 1,000 lots of the best of luxury goods, furniture, jewellery, electrical items, clothing and accessories, books, artwork, curios and lots more."

Morehu-Barlow's art collection included works by Australians Brett Whiteley, John Olsen and Arthur Boyd, and he reportedly owned the largest Louis Vuitton accessories collection in the Southern Hemisphere, with hundreds of individual pieces.

A fake crown, Hermes saddle, a AUS\$95,000 (£62,000) television, a 19th century naval hat, a grand piano, a AUS\$25,000 (£16,000) bottle of French cognac, replica robots, a surfboard and a huge range of luxury clothing are reportedly among the items.

Mr Springborg said around AUS\$11m (£7m) of the anticipated sales had already been committed to cancer, stroke, anti-smoking, vaccination and Aboriginal health initiatives.

"We are repairing the damage to local health services caused by years of financial mismanagement and lax standards," he said.

"People at the auction can join in and help us turn things around."