Saturday, February 26, 2011

NSW police fiasco

Fraud case thrown out as soon as the DPP got the brief of evidence. It never got to court. If anybody should have been charged, it would have been the property valuer

It was a three-year police investigation into an alleged multi-million-dollar Kings Cross mortgage fraud with a cast including three of Sydney's best-known party boys, but it ended yesterday as a $1 million fiasco.

The District Court was told charges against self-styled moneyman Abe Adrian Camilleri, 36, and his former business partner Matthew Rhodin, 43, had been no-billed by the Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC.

According to documents tendered in court, their friend, nightclub baron John Ibrahim, 40, was allegedly the only person who got anything out of the whole deal - $500,000, which he used to fit out one of his clubs, court documents showed. He was never charged.

Outside court, Camilleri's barrister Charles Waterstreet said there was a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. "The whole case was never worth a crumb," he said.

Camilleri, a one-time boyfriend of supermodel Miranda Kerr, and Rhodin, ex-boyfriend of Australia's Next Top Model star Charlotte Dawson, had been charged with dishonestly obtaining a Commonwealth Bank loan of $7,350,000 based on an inflated valuation for a property in Darlinghurst Rd, opposite the Coca-Cola sign.

Police claimed the valuation was based on false claims that they were to be paid $385,000 a year in rent for three floors of the building, which houses Tatler's nightclub.

The court heard the property was bought through one of Rhodin's companies but only the first mortgage payment was made. The bank foreclosed on the loan, the company wound up and the bank subsequently sold the building at a loss of $4.2 million.

Documents tendered to the court claimed Camilleri allegedly told company receivers Ferrier Hodgson that Ibrahim had wanted to turn the building into a new nightclub and had allegedly told Camilleri and Rhodin during the property transaction to "get the job done or there would be trouble".

A memo from an officer with the receivers that was tendered in court claimed Camilleri told him that $500,000 of the mortgage money was loaned to Ibrahim. The receivers allegedly did not recover that money. Camilleri never made a statement to police.


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