Gloves off over Wrecker

For­mer busi­ness man­ager and new lawyer headed to court over clash

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - PAUL WE­STON paul.we­ston@news.com.au

WILL the Wrecker has be­come more reclu­sive as a le­gal battle about his multi-mil­lion­dol­lar for­tune trig­gers an ex­plo­sive re­la­tion­ship be­tween his for­mer busi­ness man­ager and new lawyer.

Joseph “Will the Wrecker’’ Smith con­tin­ues to live on a camp bed at the Gold Coast Hous­ing Com­mis­sion home of his part­ner, de­spite hav­ing a prop­erty port­fo­lio be­lieved to be worth up to $20 mil­lion.

“He sleeps on the couch or his swag on the back ve­randa,” a con­cerned friend told the Bul­letin. “He no longer at­tends his wreck­ing yard where he en­joys fid­dling (with old car wrecks). He is not seen at his usual haunts. He does not call his friends or busi­ness as­so­ciates. Life­long friends are un­able to con­tact him. He has no con­tact with his fam­ily.”

The Bul­letin has tried to con­tact Mr Smith on his mo­bile phone mul­ti­ple times, only for wreck­ing yard staff to an­swer and say he is not on site.

As the le­gal battle con­tin­ues in sev­eral courts, a video has emerged show­ing Mr Smith’s ex-busi­ness man­ager Michael Yarwood and Smith’s bar­ris­ter Chris Gar­lick meet­ing in­side the South­port Registry of­fice.

The video shows Mr Yarwood ap­proach­ing the counter where, by chance, Mr Gar­lick is seek­ing help from a court em­ployee at the registry.

“Are you film­ing me, Yarwood?” Mr Gar­lick says, telling oth­ers wait­ing at the registry that Mr Yarwood is fac­ing alle- gations of rip­ping off Mr Smith for $4.3 mil­lion.

Mr Gar­lick then re­turns to the counter where he tells court staff: “You have no idea what’s been go­ing on.”

The staff mem­ber tells him: “We just don’t want that sort of thing in here.”

The le­gal battle was sparked when Mr Yarwood lodged a court claim for $1.9 mil­lion in lost earn­ings after his con­tract as Mr Smith’s busi­ness ad­viser was ter­mi­nated.

Mr Smith counter claimed by ac­cus­ing Mr Yarwood of de­fraud­ing him of $4 mil­lion after he was given power of at­tor­ney to ne­go­ti­ate the Reedy Creek land deal in which the State Govern­ment aquired his back lots for a rail cor­ri­dor next to the Pa­cific High­way.

Mr Yarwood has strongly re­futed the lat­est counter claim, amended to say he owed $1.65 mil­lion to Mr Smith.

Mr Smith knew the well­known Coast busi­ness fam­ily and ap­proached Mr Yarwood after read­ing a news­pa­per re­port about him serv­ing time in jail. The “Wrecker’’ was pay­ing up to $300,000 in land tax and rates. The deal with the govern­ment net­ted him $9 mil­lion, al­low­ing him to keep the iconic house with the FX Holden peek­ing from the ve­randa on the first floor.

Mr Yarwood, a for­mer Som­er­set Col­lege school cap­tain, ris­ing LNP star and lawyer, was jailed in 2011 for mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds and forgery but re­leased after nine months when he won an ap­peal against the sen­tence after de­tail­ing health is­sues.

Mr Yarwood and his wife Jac­que­line have made a com­plaint against Mr Gar­lick to the Le­gal Ser­vices Com­mis­sion, al­leg­ing “con­duct of ha­rass­ment by a le­gal prac­ti­tioner”. The com­plaint has been re­ferred to the Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, and after re­ceiv­ing its find­ings the com­mis­sion will de­ter­mine whether to close the file or start dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings.

The cou­ple has also sought a peace and good be­hav­iour or­der against Mr Gar­lick. The mat­ter, has been ad­journed un­til December 10.

Mr Gar­lick did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Main pic­ture: LIAM KID­STON

Gold Coast mil­lion­aire and junk­yard recluse Will Smith ar­riv­ing at Bris­bane Supreme Court (main image); bar­ris­ter Chris Gar­lick (top) and Michael Yarwood.

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