The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
THE FRENCH CONNECTION LIFESTYLE OF THE RICH AND INFAMOUS A SPOTLIGHT ELLEN WHINNETT SHINES TAX ON THE ‘CROCODILE DUNDEE EXILE FRAUDSTER’S’ LUXURIOUS
PHILIP Egglishaw has made a lot of money advising people on how to manage their financial affairs.
The 63-year-old British citizen, who has avoided Australian authorities since 2004, has a fleet of luxury cars and a mechanic who comes to his house just to start the Lamborghini and make sure it’s running OK, on the rare chance he might like to drive it.
He hosted his daughter’s wedding at his luxurious villa in the south of France near Nice.
Egglishaw was arrested on May 3 while staying at a luxurious $2500-a-night hotel in Como, Italy. His partner, Sheila Jordan, has a photograph of herself on a yacht as her Facebook profile photo, and his children fly regularly between his old home in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, to the UK, Nice and Monaco on the French Riviera. But not everything goes according to plan for the man dubbed the “Crocodile Dundee Tax Fraudster’’ by the international press. Egglishaw is wanted in Australia over allegations he masterminded a $2.2 billion tax fraud that saw 46 people convicted, music promoter Glenn Wheatley jailed, and actor Paul Hogan embroiled in a 10-year fight with the ATO over taxes paid on the Crocodile Dundee films. Hogan settled his dispute with the ATO without charges being laid. He denied any wrongdoing. A few months ago, thieves targeted the villa owned by Egglishaw near the village of La Colle sur-Loup, scaling the high, remote-controlled gates that shut his home off to the world. Dressed in balaclavas, the three men apparently went straight to the upstairs bedrooms and stole jewellery before escaping, while one of Egglishaw’s several cleaners hid in fear. Video cameras now watch over the gates of his home and the laneway next door, which leads past the pool to the tennis court.
His brother and business partner, Richard Egglishaw, has an even larger and more secure villa about 30 minutes’ drive away in Mougins. It also has a high remote-controlled gate and video surveillance.
The Egglishaw brothers like their privacy.
A local real estate agent specialising in high-end properties said he had rung the buzzer at the gates to Philip Egglishaw’s home many times, hoping to be invited inside to make a pitch to sell the property. No one ever answered.
This was despite Egglishaw employing two or three cleaners, two full-time gardeners, a mechanic, someone to look after the swimming pool, and a personal trainer for one of his children.
Philip Jepson Egglishaw was raised in Jersey, the British island off the coast of France known mostly for its dairy cows and annual floral festival. He attended the local Hautlieu school, which used to be a boys’ grammar school but is n now a select-entry co-ed se secondary school offerin ing the International B Baccalaureate.
A number of Egglishaw family members still liv live on the island – none w wanted to talk to The SundaySu Mail – and the b beautiful home he and h his first wife owned, C Cherry Trees, near the vi village of Saint Ouen, is n now owned by the local d doctor, who hasn’t h heard from him since he bought the house in 2003.
According to docu- ments held by the States of Jersey archive, the house was sold for £1.35 million in 2003 – which the Bank of England’s inflation calculator says would equate to £1.96 million in today’s terms, or $A3.2 million.
Philip and Richard Egglishaw set up a number of companies in Jersey, which was previously acknowledged as both a tax haven and for having laws that obscured transparency around financial transactions.
One of their businesses, Strachans, came to the attention of authorities in Australia, and they later transferred it to Geneva in Switzerland, where the brothers had real estate links.
Egglishaw would work Monday to Friday in Geneva then return to his villa in France on weekends.
He appears to have met his current partner, British citizen Sheila Jordan, in Jersey, and after his run-in with police in Australia in 2004, the pair set up home in their villa at La Colle-sur-Loup while also renting a flat in Geneva, Switzerland, and spending time in Monaco.
It is unlikely to be a coincidence that Egglishaw lived and worked in three of the European jurisdictions that are most notorious for financial secrecy – Switzerland, Monaco and Jersey – although Jersey has since modernised its rules and removed most of its secrecy provisions around financial dealings.
Egglishaw appears to have purchased the villa in 1999 and done work to the luxurious spread, which has views over the Mediterranean and the nearby historic walled town of St Paul de Vence.
This includes converting a helicopter landing pad to a tennis court.
Manicured gardens line the pool and driveway, and the trees have been allowed to grow tall around the boundaries, providing even more privacy.
La Colle-sur-Loup, down the hill from Egglishaw’s sprawling estate, is a quintessential French rural town – more than 300 years old, with narrow roads lined with small shops that close on Mondays, and the French tricolour flying from every house.
The cobblestoned streets might be too narrow for some of Egglishaw’s cars – for a man who likes to stay in the shadows, his extravagant car collection is one area where he openly turns heads.
He was apparently seen in Monaco last week driving his $277,000 white Bentley convertible, the car he had driven to Italy when he was arrested by police on May 3, leading to a two-month stay in jail in Como before he was released.
He also has a Lamborghini that rarely seems to leave his garage but whose loud motor