Gangland widow Roberta Williams may have been prepared to go to jail as part of an elaborate plan to finally get her Kardashian-style reality TV program off the ground, media insiders suggest.
Williams was charged after arrested in a series of co-ordinated raids across Melbourne on Wednesday morning.
The widow of gangland killer Carl Williams was taken from her home in handcuffs and put into a police car.
Suspiciously, a television crew was waiting outside upon her arrest, with one reporter approaching Williams for a comment.
The Channel 9 reporter was told to ‘f**k off’ as the convicted criminal was bundled into a police van.
Her daughter to Carl – Dhakota – was later filmed leaving the property with a young child.
The arrest is linked to an alleged kidnapping in Collingwood last month involving a producer on her proposed reality TV show.
Several media sources have suggested the arrests make for good entertainment.
‘Can you imagine how this is going to drag out? You can fully expect them to be filming Dhakota’s reactions to the arrest,’ one tv insider said.
As television crews converged on WIliams’ Strathmore home – north-west of Melbourne – some wondered whether it was they who were being watched.
‘You can fully expect a camera just to be trained on us out here,’ one cameraman said.
Williams was arrested along with two Greensborough men, aged 24 and 27, and a 24-year-old Craigieburn man.
Police said the investigation centred on allegations of false imprisonment and extortion with threats to kill.
In Victoria, they are charges that could see Williams, if found guilty, jailed for up to 25 years on the false imprisonment charge alone.
Threats to kill can see people jailed for up to 10 years.
While Williams is not expected to receive the maximum penalty if convicted, she would enter court with a serious prior conviction.
‘You’d reckon its a pretty risky move pulling a media stunt like this,’ another media insider said. ‘She’s looking at some jail time if she goes down for it.’
Williams was herself jailed in 2004 for 18 months after she and Carl were convicted over their roles in a $450,000 drug trafficking operation.
Carl was jailed for seven years with a five-year non-parole period while his wife was eligible for parole after just six months.
Roberta pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking a commercial quantity of ecstasy on May 19, 2001.
She has denied any involvement in the alleged kidnapping of the producer, who was exposed by Daily Mail Australia to be a convicted criminal.
Ryan Naumenko, 36, went public with the allegations against Williams last month, telling newspaper and television reporters she was behind his kidnapping and threatened to kill his wife and children.
Williams allegedly hired him to create the reality program based on her family.
In a promotional video on the GoFundMe site, Williams declared: ‘Wait to see the real me. Get to know me before you judge me. See the person I am then judge me. Then I will take your comments your criticism and won’t even complain.’
She recently posted to social media, the Herald Sun reported, about the date the reality TV program would go to air.
‘It would of (sic) been (aired) soon, but this scammer stole my friends (sic) money and tried to sell my friends (sic) footage of our pilot for the show to whoever he could,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Then when the networks didn’t want to deal with him, he concocted this story and told the police.’
Williams had been peddling the ‘Mob Wives’ take-off since 2017 when she claimed to have filmed the pilot.
She told media at the time the show would focus on ‘the drama of Roberta’s everyday life as a mum to her five children – Breanane, Tye, Danielle, Dhakota and Giuseppe’.
However, it is understood WIlliams has struggled to sell the program off to a willing network.
In recent months, Williams hasn’t been far from the headlines – causing the biggest stir when she attacked a television reporter on camera.
She has also made news with her failed attempt to retain the home of Carl’s dead dad George and has been vocal in her views on the Lawyer X scandal.
‘This could turn things around,’ an insider said. ‘We’ll watch with quiet anticipation.’
One man has already faced court over the alleged kidnapping and is due to face court in October.
The television producer alleges he was lured to a Collingwood apartment, in Melbourne, where he was allegedly bound and beaten.
He appeared on Channel 7 news sporting a large bruise to his neck and a nasty leg injury.
Using the name Ryan Nemenko, the convicted fraudster claimed Williams threatened harm if he didn’t cough up $17,000.
Daily Mail Australia revealed Naumenko was jailed in 2017 after scamming Gumtree users out of thousands of dollars.
He was sentenced him to six months’ prison and an 18-month community corrections order with 175 hours of community work.
The Sunraysia Daily reported Naumenko was 33 when he pleaded guilty in March 2017 to 20 dishonesty related offences when he faced Mildura Magistrates’ Court.
It was reported the ‘serial scammer’s long history of defrauding people’ dated back more than a decade.
The court heard Naumenko would accept money for iphones from his victims but never delivered the goods.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Al Heintze said Naumenko told police he was pressured to scam the victims by others, but would not disclose who they were.
His lawyer Kieran Reynolds told the court Naumenko claimed to have worked with well-known Australian artists Thirsty Merc and Illy and was trying to keep his head above water financially following the failure of his music production company.
Naumenko had bragged online in 2010 that he was ‘quickly becoming one of Australia’s most popular talent management companies’.
A PR website states: ‘Ryan Naumenko, once associated with the wrong side of the law, has done a complete back flip and is fast becoming one of the “go to guys” of the Australian music industry when it comes to talent management’.
In the 2010 PR article, Naumenko is quoted as complaining about a previous time he had spent up to $80,000 on ‘talent’ who had no talent.
‘The artist in question did not have the dedication, drive or actual talent to make it where we saw him, so both Victor (his father) and myself decided it was time to end the contract (after 5 breaches of it) and recoup the losses,’ he said.
Last year, Naumenko further moaned in an online post that he was brutalised by elite special operations group police during a raid on his Mildura home in a case of mistaken identity.
He claimed the raid was over alleged ‘bomb threats made to various government departments and having close involvement with Vladimir Putin and financing Russian organised crime’.
Naumenko stated he was never charged.
‘I was and am still the victim of a corrupt police force, and those responsible, for my now destroyed neck, my mental health journey and my sons memories which will haunt him forever, think they can get away with it,’ he wrote.
Williams, the widow of slain gangster Carl Williams, allegedly met Naumenko through an Instagram account three months ago where she enlisted his help for her reality project as producer and narrator.
Naumenko claims he was left battered and bruised by his run-in with Williams.
‘I just thought I was dead, I thought this was it,’ he told 7NEWS.
He said his physical wounds had healed but his mental scars remained.
‘I had bruises all over my body,’ he said.
‘I’ve got (a) suspected fractured jaw and cheekbone as well … it was just a lot of swelling.
‘(Now) I just want to stay inside, I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to speak to anybody.’
The producer said he frantically texted his mum during the alleged attack and begged her for help.
He has now fled Melbourne for a country town.
‘I thought that night when I was made to sit down when I had a gun pointed at my head that that was it,’ he said.