Mc­Cracken re­sort probe

Bank­ruptcy trustee seeks an­swers on Rambu­tan

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT EX­CLU­SIVE tony.raggatt@news.com.au

BANK­RUPT de­vel­oper and for­mer New Zealand rugby league in­ter­na­tional Jar­rod Mc­Cracken and his busi­ness as­so­ciates will be called be­fore a pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tion to an­swer ques­tions about their in­volve­ment in a $ 20 mil­lion Townsville project.

Mr Mc­Cracken’s trustee in bank­ruptcy, Nicholas Crouch, of busi­ness ad­vi­sory and in­sol­vency ser­vices firm Crouch Amir­beaggi, is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances be­hind de­vel­op­ment of the Rambu­tan re­sort and com­mer­cial com­plex on Flin­ders St.

Mr Crouch al­leges Mr Mc­Cracken failed to dis­close his em­ploy­ment and the earn­ings for his project man­age­ment ser­vices on the de­vel­op­ment.

The project was de­vel­oped by a com­pany as­so­ci­ated with Syd­ney busi­ness­man Ge­orge Flem­ing in 2014 which en­gaged a com­pany as­so­ci­ated with Mr Mc­Cracken’s son, Jay­cob, on the ba­sis of what Jar­rod Mc­Cracken claimed was a “hand­shake deal” to man­age the con­struc­tion. Mr Crouch said Jay­cob Mc­Cracken was 21 years old at the time.

“If you are build­ing a $ 20 mil­lion project and do­ing a hand­shake deal with a 21- yearold kid … I have never seen that be­fore. I think it is highly un­usual,” Mr Crouch said.

Mr Crouch said Jay­cob Mc­Cracken had stated in an af­fi­davit in court pro­ceed­ings ini­ti­ated by an un­paid cred­i­tor of the Rambu­tan project that he had no di­rect in­volve­ment in the con­struc­tion and that his fa­ther was solely re­spon­si­ble for the project.

He said Jar­rod Mc­Cracken main­tained he worked vol­un­tar­ily for his son’s com­pany.

Mr Crouch said Mr Mc­Cracken Snr had dis­closed no as­sets in his state­ment of af­fairs and no in­come in his in­come ques­tion­naires as a bank­rupt. He cal­cu­lated the ser­vices pro­vided by Mr Mc­Cracken for Rambu­tan would be worth $ 1.1 mil­lion.

Mr Mc­Cracken was de­clared bank­rupt in 2013 ow­ing cred­i­tors about $ 15 mil­lion from his role as a de­vel­oper and night­club owner in Townsville. He de­vel­oped the Wa­ter­mark on The Strand and the Con­sor­tium on Palmer St.

Mr Crouch said the Rambu­tan con­struc­tion com­pany, Jag Projects Qld Pty Ltd, was placed in liq­ui­da­tion af­ter the de­vel­op­ment, ow­ing the tax of­fice $ 750,000. He said par­ties in­volved in the project, in­clud­ing Mr Flem­ing and pro­fes­sional ser­vice firms, had de­clined to speak to him for his in­quiries.

Mr Crouch said he was now in the process of re­quir­ing the par­ties through the is­sue of sub­poe­nas to an­swer ques­tions in a pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tion funded by reg­u­la­tor the Aus­tralian Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Author­ity.

“( AFSA) are sat­is­fied this mat­ter has merit and are pro­vid­ing funds to un­der­take these in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” he said.

“The ex­am­i­na­tions will be held in Syd­ney and Bris­bane ( later this year).”

Mr Flem­ing de­clined to com­ment, while Mr Mc­Cracken could not be con­tacted.

Mr Crouch asked any­one with in­for­ma­tion on Mr Mc­Cracken’s con­nec­tion to Rambu­tan or any other busi­ness to call his of­fice on 02 8262 9333.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.