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Issues & Ideas: Australian podcast searches for alleged con artist on the Central Coast

Dustin Wise
Ollie Wards (left), a Kiwi podcast producer, and his brother Simon (right) on the Central Coast tracking down an alleged con artist.

A hit true crime podcast in Australia has a major Central Coast connection. Season four of the “Unravel” podcast, titled Snowball, zeroes in on what the producers call 'love fraud.' The podcast revolves around a mysterious woman and the family she allegedly defrauded, and one family member's obsession with finding her, tracking down another alleged victim in Paso Robles, and even confronting the woman at the center of it all in San Luis Obispo. Click the Listen button above to learn more.

Ollie Wards is a 34-year-old radio producer from New Zealand, who works at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). He’s been behind the scenes on their programming for a few years, until he got the green light last year to produce his own podcast for their true crime series. It’s about his brother’s whirlwind marriage to a woman from the United States, her subsequent disappearance and the family’s claim that she defrauded them of over $1 million dollars. KCBX’s Tyler Pratt recently Skyped with Wards in Australia to learn more about the podcast, this mysterious woman, and his trip to the Central Coast.

KCBX News tried to track down the woman at the center of the podcast to get her viewpoint on the story. But despite several attempts to reach her by phone, we got her voicemail but no return calls. We were also able to confirm that until recently, she did work at a San Luis Obispo grocery store, but she no longer works there.

Wards mentioned in the interview that other parties have been interested in telling his family’s story, saying that both "Dr. Phil" and "Dateline" have expressed interest. He's also currently working on a follow-up episode, so this may not be the last we hear of this mysterious woman who may or may not still be living here on the Central Coast.