Geoffrey Edelsten despised being called a disgrace.
Even as he descended into a parody of his former self in later years, the elderly crook would write to journalists and berate them for failing to address him as ‘doctor’ or ‘professor’.
He loathed being disrespected and established a website that allowed him to berate those that had caused offence.
Geoffrey Edelsten after buying the Sydney Swans in 1985. Pictured with (from left): Anthony Daniher, Rod Carter, Steve Taubert, Mark Bayes and Craig Braddy
Mourners toss dirt on the casket of Geoffrey Edelsten at his funeral on Wednesday
Edelsten was remembered as a kind and caring doctor who was polite to everyone he met. Except those that crossed him
If it wasn’t so comical, Edelsten would have paid what was left of his fortune in defamation payouts.
In an earlier life, Edelsten wouldn’t publicise his contempt for those that crossed him, he’d have someone front them in person.
In 1984, ABC investigative journalist Chris Masters experienced the full extent of Edelsten’s rage after he exposed him for rampantly abusing Australia’s medical benefits scheme.
Not only did Masters expose Edelsten for rorting the system, his report revealed his inept tattoo removing procedures, his overservicing, kickbacks for diagnostic referrals and employment of the notorious hitman Christopher Dale Flannery.
Masters would be threatened by Edelsten’s underworld contacts after the episode of Four Corners aired.
Edelsten also made a bogus report to Australian Federal Police claiming the reporter had received unauthorised confidential information.
On Wednesday those few that loved the man gathered to toss dirt on his pine box as he finally went into the ground.
One friend remembered him as ‘quietly spoken, polite, good company, loyal, intelligent, a good listener, respectful and above all a warm and engaging human being’.
Edelsten was also a two bit thug with a penchant for violence and making those that dared to interfere with his lifestyle suffer.
It was a trait that only became worse with age.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Edelsten was accused of bashing a woman, choking her and tossing her out of his apartment just a few years ago.
The terrified woman never proceeded with the charges and Edelsten and his lawyers closed down any news agency that dared to air the claims.
Edelsten ran his ex-wife Brynne to bankruptcy after their divorce.
By the end of it, she would be happy to see the back of him.
Leanne Nesbitt (right) married Geoffrey Edelsten when she was 19 and he was aged in his 40s
EDELSTON AND MR RENT-A-KILL
In October 1981, Christopher Dale Flannery was arrested over the murder of Sydney brothel owner Raymond Francis ‘Lizard’ Locksley, who had been murdered at Menai on May 11, 1979.
In 1982, a jury failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was adjourned until April 18, 1984.
Flannery was subsequently acquitted.
His trial had been scheduled for January 31, 1984.
However, he was provided with a medical certificate by Edelsten certifying that he was unfit for trial in order to avoid Flannery being tried by a particular judge.
Edelsten would also ask Flannery to fix up an ex patient who was causing him troubles.
In 2015, after his split from third wife Gabi Grecko, Edelsten went out of his way to make her life a misery too.
‘The fact she has admitted to being a prostitute and part of the mile-high club makes me sick. The sooner we’re divorced, the better — but I want my money first and will be going to New York to get it,’ he told the Herald Sun back then.
He would go so far as to make a blackmail complaint to police about his ex, which was all but ignored by Victoria Police.
Those born in the 80s would have little notion of Edelsten’s dark past.
Throughout the 2000s he would pop up on television, magazines and newspaper reports with a bevy of young beauties.
Anyone with half an interest in the man knew he had owned the Sydney Swans in the 80s and was filthy rich.
It was 1985 when Edelsten bought the Swans for $6.2million.
Edelsten and his first wife Leanne – a 19-year old model – were pictured in the paper celebrating next to their Porsche on securing the deal.
He would later land at the SCG in a helicopter.
The outrageous show-off would try and buy the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks that year too, but the game’s administrators thought better of the idea.
Christopher Dale Flannery (right) was known as Mr Rent-A-Kill. On May 9, 1985 he vanished from the face of the earth
Abe Saffron on his way to the Federal Court in Perth in 2002. Saffron was linked to the underworld and Geoffrey Edelsten
Edelsten would continue to flaunt his wealth all the way up until he disappeared from the spotlight. His wedding to Brynne Edelsten (pictured) cost about $3million
Behind the scenes, authorities were well advanced in bringing Edelsten’s empire down.
Edelsten had already been a subject of the Costigan Royal Commission into criminal activities involving the then powerful Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union.
By 1976, fifteen investigations and prosecution files had been opened up on Edelsten by four agencies.
Just two years after buying the Swans, Edelsten was forced to sell with losses of up to $20 million.
He was under investigation from the National Crime Commission and was getting about town with underworld figure Abe Saffron.
Edelsten had made his fortune with his pathology company Preventicare, which would to an extent revolutionise the way medical practices shared information.
It would also end in bankruptcy, but not before the then doctor ran pathology labs into the ground with unpaid debts.
Over the next few years Edelsten would embark on one dodgy scheme after the next.
His rorting of the newly established Medicare system has since become legendary.
Not only was he overcharging for services, his nurse was carrying out most of the procedures he was claiming.
Edelsten ripped off millions.
On July 27, 1990, Edelsten’s bubble got burst.
Edelsten became a parody of his 80s self in the 2000s. He married Gabi Gecko (pictured) briefly before an ugly split
Edelsten was no stranger to courts. While he attempted to reinvent himself as a nice guy in his later years, he remained a ruthless bully
Edelsten would berate those who questioned his fashion sense. He is pictured here in 2014 with Gabi Grecko
He was found guilty of soliciting Flannery – known as Mr Rent-A-Kill – to assault former patient Stephen William Evans.
He was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice in that he improperly obtained an adjournment of a murder trial Flannery faced by certifying that the hitman was unfit to stand trial.
Flannery would already be dead by the time Edelston himself went on trial.
They had supposedly met when Flannery attended Edelsten’s clinic to have some tattoos removed.
Like Evans, Flannery did not have a pleasant experience at the hands of Edelsten.
His wife would later tell a court Flannery’s wounds smelt ‘really bad like dead meat’, he was nauseous, dizzy and had ‘lumps under one arm’.
She also observed that Flannery was vomiting and ‘really hot’.
While he may have been unwell, the jury felt Edelston had probably fudged his medical certificate none-the-less.
Edelsten had also asked the notorious hitman to ‘Get Evans off his back’.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment for each conviction and spent a year in jail.
The now fully fledged disgraced ex-doctor would spend the remainder of his years protesting his innocence and failed in every legal challenge to overturn his convictions.
While Edelsten would become a multi-millionaire again, he would never achieve the respect he so dearly craved.
By 2011 Edelsten was swimming in cash after the $200million sale of his medical empire, Allied Medical Group, to Sonic Healthcare.
Edelsten pocketed about $65 million from the sale, which he proceeded to squander through a series of calamitous deals.
He invested in a fashion label and a casino in the Dominican Republic and bought into distressed properties at the height of America’s post-subprime mortgage crisis.
At the same time he blew $4 million on a Bombadier Challenger jet while losing hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling in just one visit to the casino.
Years later, his former Florida-based business partner Alfie Mawardi would claim Edelsten had him stabbed outside his office after falling out with him.
In 2014 he was declared bankrupt in the United States and would spend the rest of his years living off the inheritance of his mother.
RISE AND FALL OF A DISGRACED EX-DOCTOR
Born: May 2, 1943 in Carlton
1960s: Edelsten owned a Melbourne-based record company before turning to medicine
1970s: Edelsten and a colleague launch Preventicare, which provides diagnostic tests and computerised history-taking for doctors throughout Australia.
1980s: Edelsten began to run innovative and multi-disciplinary 24-hour medical centres.
Buys the Sydney Swans and marries model Leanne Nesbitt.
Edelsten was struck off the medical registry in New South Wales in 1988 and later in Victoria.
1990: Jailed for perverting the course of justice and soliciting Christopher ‘Mr Rent-a-Kill’ Dale Flannery to assault a former patient.
2001: Edelsten launches a company offering mail order paternity tests.
2005: Edelsten and a business partner found Allied Medical Group, which offers extended opening hours and bulk-billing for patients.
2011: Sells Allied in a deal worth up to $200 million
2014: Edelsten files for bankruptcy in the United States.
2021: Dies aged 78