McCracken resort probe
Bankruptcy trustee seeks answers on Rambutan
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.