Stanowitsch became mesmerised by Drake and his luxurious lifestyle after meeting him at a party in 2008. Three years later, Stanowitsch took Drake’s advice and invested his $300,000 savings in a scheme promising 20 per cent per annum returns and fortnightly cash payments with a company called Questco, through Peter Gant. When the fortnightly cash payments stopped in December 2013, and Stanowitsch tried selling his paintings to recoup his money, auction house after auction house rejected the works.

At this point, Stanowitsch could have done what many others who have been caught out with fake art have done – nothing. But anger overrode any sense of humiliation, and he took legal action.

“Drake pretended to be my friend and he just scammed me,” Stanowitsch told AFR Weekend. “I personally believe he is a professional scammer.”

Orange Lavender Bay outside court during the 2016 trial.  Justin McManus

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