Serial swindler Peter Foster is almost as well-known for his relationships with women as the spectacular arrests that generally follow his latest fraudulent scheme.
Rarely is a story written about the Australian conman which does not mention his fling with British page three model turned singer Samantha Fox in the 1980s.
Foster also managed to dupe Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, into promoting the bogus weight-loss tea that first made him infamous outside his own country.
Having embarrassed royalty he managed to embroil a British prime minister in the controversy which became known as Cheriegate when he helped buy property for Tony Blair's wife Cherie.
Conman Peter Foster is almost as well-known for his relationships with women as the spectacular arrests that generally follow his latest rip-off scheme. He dated British page three model turned singer Samantha Fox in the 1980s when she promoted his bogus weight loss tea
Foster duped Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, into promoting the weight-loss tea that first made him infamous. He later embroiled a British prime minister in the controversy which became known as Cheriegate when he helped buy property for Tony Blair's wife Cherie
Notorious Australian conman Peter Foster (pictured) was captured by an elite team of 'fugitive hunters' on Tuesday, six months after he allegedly skipped court charged with a million-dollar cryptocurrency scam
Foster's association with Mrs Blair came through his then girlfriend Carole Caplin who was the Blairs' fitness instructor and sometime style adviser during their time in Downing Street.
Another victim of the fraudster's charms was a teenager called Michelle Deakin who claims Foster left her pregnant with twins when he made one of his regular runs from authority.
Foster was captured on Tuesday by an elite team of 'fugitive hunters' six months after he allegedly skipped court charged with a million-dollar cryptocurrency scam.
Australian Federal Police officers smashed down the door of the 58-year-old's home near the Victorian town of Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges to find him barefoot and wearing track pants and a cheap white T-shirt.
Foster had failed to appear in a Sydney court on fraud-related charges in May and an electronic tracker stopped sending a signal.
The case against him involves allegations he conned $1.7million in Bitcoin out of a retired pilot in Hong Kong as part of a sport betting scam.
Fosgter's latest arrest is an all too familiar story for anyone who has followed his criminal career. He was tracked down to far north Queensland where he was dramatically arrested in August last year (pictured)
Footage of Foster's arrest in August last year, taken by IFW Global, showed two officers dressed as joggers running towards the conman on the beach before tackling him to the ground
Foster calls himself an 'international man of mischief' and has been locked up in Australia, Great Britain, Vanuatu and the United States. He is pictured being arrested again in Queensland
Foster - using the alias Bill Dawson - allegedly promised a series of investors 'guaranteed returns' on their money by having a mathematician predict the outcome of sports matches.
Investors say their money 'evaporated' after they invested in the firm, called Sports Predictions, and prosecutors allege that no bets were ever placed and the money was instead diverted to Foster.
To those who have followed Foster's career of fraud it is an all too familiar story.
Foster had been tracked down to far north Queensland where he was dramatically arrested in August last year.
Footage of his arrest, taken by IFW Global, showed two officers dressed as joggers running towards Foster on the beach before tackling him to the ground.
He was released on bail, put under house arrest and failed to turn up to court.
As a teenager in the late 1970s, Foster began promoting nightclubs and boxing matches on the Gold Coast. He has been causing trouble across three continents in the decades since
Foster calls himself an 'international man of mischief' and has been locked up in Australia, Great Britain, Vanuatu and the United States.
'I go from one catastrophe to another,' he said after his release from a Vanuatu prison in 2007. 'I don't know how I do it. I'm going to have to learn eventually, I suppose.'
Foster first caught the Australian public's attention in the 1980s when he was marketing Bai Lin tea as an 'ancient Chinese weight loss secret'.
The product was no more than ordinary black tea but Foster moved from Australia to the United Kingdom and eventually the United States promoting his shady schemes.
Along the way he also fooled a string of women who fell for his supposed charms.
Only one - his late mother Louise Foster-Poletti - does he seem to regret having caused so much misery.
Foster convinced topless model turned singer Samantha Fox to spruik his 'weight loss' tea in the UK in the 1980s and the pair commenced a relationship. The couple is pictured in 1986
Foster convinced topless model turned singer Samantha Fox to spruik his 'weight loss' tea in the UK in the 1980s and the pair commenced a relationship.
Fox, who has also dated Kiss guitarist and lead singer Paul Stanley and Spanish bullfighter Rafi Comino, said Foster proposed but she turned him down.
Foster cheated on the model and sold the story of their sex life to a tabloid newspaper.
'My parents had split and here was a man who was clever, manipulative and domineering,' Fox once said. 'I came close to marrying him because I was so vulnerable.'
Years after their split Foster suggested that he and Fox make a movie about their lives together but she declined through her lawyer.
'I'm old enough now to know that I'd never be taken in again by the likes of Peter Foster,' Fox told The Guardian in 2002. 'But then, I was 22 and impressionable.'
In March 2020, Fox announced she was engaged to Norwegian mother-of-two Linda Olsen, four years after long-term girlfriend Myra Stratton died of cancer.
Private school girl Michele Deakin was was just 19 when she first came to Foster's attention as Britain's 1988 Young Slimmer of the Year. Deakin is pictured that year
Private school girl Michele Deakin was was just 19 when she first came to Foster's attention as Britain's 1988 Young Slimmer of the Year.
Seeking a weight loss success story to promote his latest fraudulent product Foster quickly ingratiated himself with Deakin and her family.
He whisked Deakin and her parents to his rented London mansion in a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, greeting her with 'G'day' and a kiss on each cheek.
'I was a virgin when I met him and he groomed me, seduced me and proposed to me,' Deakin told the Daily Mail in 2020.
'I loved him and thought he was this amazing, charismatic person. But he promised me the Earth and delivered nothing.'
Deakin, who had accepted Foster's marriage proposal, got caught up in one of Foster's scams and found herself before Liverpool Crown Court pregnant with twins.
He skipped town, denying paternity. 'That man has more faces than a town hall clock,' Deakin told the Daily Mail.
'Do I think he's reformed? No, it's baloney. He's a narcissist.'
Foster met fitness guru Carole Caplin through a friend in 2002 and later described her as 'one of the great loves of my life'. They are pictured outside the London Woman's Clinic
Foster met fitness guru Carole Caplin through a friend in 2002 and later described her as 'one of the great loves of my life'.
Caplin was close to British prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie and Foster claimed to have attended 10 Downing Street during their relationship.
'Carole seemed so obsessed with the Blairs,' Foster told the Daily Mail in 2020. 'They were like family. It surprised me how much influence she seemed to have over Tony and Cherie.'
Foster has said the Blairs agreed to be godparents to his unborn child when Caplin fell pregnant, but she miscarried during the pregnancy.
He later told interviewer Andrew Denton he had believed it was Mr Blair who got Caplin pregnant in a story The Times found to be another elaborate hoax.
Foster said his relationship with Caplin ended due to 'a dalliance with an Italian model who turned out to be a Romanian stripper.'
He blamed his role in Cheriegate on trying to please Caplin at the time. 'She's a sexy, sensual woman,' he told the Daily Mail two years ago. 'Men, we do stupid things when it comes to women.'
Cherie Blair has said she met Foster once and for less than five minutes but it was long enough to cause her problems for life. She is pictured with husband Tony in 2013
Cherie Blair has said she met Foster once and for less than five minutes but it was long enough to cause her problems for life.
Through his relationship with Carole Caplin, Foster provided advise to Mrs Blair in 2002 that helped her buy two properties at Bristol for a discount.
When that association was first revealed Mrs Blair denied it but the Mail on Sunday produced emails which showed Foster's involvement in the sales.
In one email Mrs Blair described him as 'a star' and said 'we are on the same wave length, Peter'.'
Mrs Blair eventually made a tearful public apology for seeking Foster's assistance on the property deal, blaming her 'mistake' on the pressures of motherhood and being the prime minister's wife.
Foster told the Daily Mail in 2020: 'With Cheriegate, I wasn't the one who did anything wrong.'
'I simply helped negotiate a property transaction and when it all blew up in their faces, the Blairs cut me adrift.
'I know it sounds rich coming from me, but I feel I was conned.'
The most significant woman in Foster's world and by far his greatest supporter was his real estate mother Louise Foster-Poletti. She is pictured with him after an arrest in Fiji
The most significant woman in Foster's world and by far his greatest supporter was his real estate mother Louise Foster-Poletti who died in May 2020.
Foster spent the last 18 months of his mother's life caring for her on the Gold Coast as she succumbed to cancer.
'It was the most extraordinary life-changing experience,' he said after her death. 'It's probably the only worthwhile thing I've done in my life.
'If there's any good in me, it's because of her. She was honest, my moral compass - perhaps I just didn't look at it often enough.'
Ms Foster-Poletti was always her son's biggest backer, no matter what scam he was running.
A self-described mummy's boy - 'and proud of it' - Foster said he would struggle to get over her death every day for the rest of his life.
'Mum was my best friend, my most loyal ally, she defended me to the hilt,' Foster told Daily Mail Australia. 'One of my great regrets is the shame I brought to her name.'
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CONMAN PETER CLARENCE FOSTER
As a teenager in the late 1970s, Foster began promoting nightclubs and boxing matches on the Gold Coast. But he was declared bankrupt in the early 80s after trying to sell tickets for a Muhammad Ali fight in Australia that never came off. He was also fined $A100,000 in Britain for trying to claim insurance for a cancelled fight.
Undeterred, Foster hooked up with a number of high-profile British girlfriends who he used to promote his 'slimming' Bai Lin Tea. He fled Britain and fraudulently re-marketed the product as Chow Low Tea in the US where he was caught and forced to serve four months in jail. He was also jailed in the UK when he returned in 1995.
Foster sparked two weeks of turmoil for British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2002 when he became a financial adviser to Blair's wife Cherie. He and girlfriend Carole Caplin, a confidante to Mrs Blair, helped as 'middle men' in the purchase of two flats in Bristol.
Chased by local police in 2006 for forging documents about his criminal history, Foster strips down to his underpants and dives from a bridge into a river but hits his head on a boat and is captured.
He then goes on a hunger strike, preventing hospital staff from handing him over to police because he's too weak. While on bail, escapes to Vanuatu on a boat.
Foster is declared bankrupt by the Federal Court in January 2018 after refusing to pay court costs relating to SensaSlim, a scam weight loss company.
He was jailed in 2014 for contempt of court over SensaSlim, before which he had spent around a year in hiding in a bush property near Byron Bay.
Foster arrives six hours late to his sentencing at a Sydney court in October 2018 after being sentenced for possessing a fake Irish passport in order to get an offshore betting license for a sports trading company.
His lawyer told the court his client's delay was down to food poisoning.
Foster fails to appear in a Sydney court on charges related to a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency scam in May 2021.
The case against him involves allegations he conned $1.7 million in Bitcoin out of a retired pilot in Hong Kong as part of a sport betting scam.
Foster is captured six months later when AFP officers smashed down the door of the 58-year-old's home near the Victorian town of Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges.