$450,000 in sham loans to throw ICAC off the scent

15 February, 2013 Uncategorized1

$450,000 in sham loans to throw ICAC off the scent

Amy Dale and Vanda Carson
The Daily Telegraph
February 15, 201312:00AM

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Out to lunch »



Out to lunch

Forced to answer humiliating questions about prostitutes, former Labor Minister Ian Macdonald admits he was ‘out to lunch’, while working f…





0:00 / 1:46





Disgraced … Ian Macdonald at ICAC / Pic: Ross Schultz Source: The Daily Telegraph

IAN Macdonald and his business partner created “sham” backdated loans as a cover-up for payments made to the former minister ahead of his windfall from an Obeid-linked coal deal, a corruption inquiry was told yesterday.

The scheme, dubbed an “ICAC loan”, was concocted after the corruption watchdog demanded financial records from John Gerathy, who paid Mr Macdonald $450,000 in less than two years.

Commissioner David Ipp said “we have a saying here that an ICAC loan is a transaction which is a gift but is really described as a loan and which has the security documents put in to create a sham, a disguise.”

The comments were made after Mr Gerathy’s barrister suggested the payments made to Mr Macdonald were to do with Chinese business ventures involving the pair and not the ICAC allegation that the money was “bank rolling” the former resources minister until he received a cut from a proposed $486 million coal deal linked to the Obeid family.

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The state’s most important corruption inquiry yesterday finished with its most important witness – Mr Macdonald stepped down at 4pm after a tense three days in the witness box where he was grilled over his role in allegedly providing inside information to the Obeids which saw them receive millions from a coal mining venture.

Mr Macdonald, who yesterday confirmed he received his parliamentary super as a lump sum payment in June 2010, told the hearing that by August 2011 his overseas business dreams, including a possible coal deal with Paul Obeid in Indonesia, had ground to a halt – and with it, his plans to use that cash to repay the loan to Mr Gerathy.

It is understood his parliamentary payout could have been as high as $1.3 million.

Mr Macdonald was asked about the $805 restaurant bill he racked up while he was at the Obeids’ Perisher chalet in July 2008, shortly after providing a list of 12 coal companies that were to bid for the Bylong Valley exploration licence to Moses Obeid.

“Is there any other place to eat (at Perisher)?” Mr Hale asked.

“A small kitchen,” he said, adding he used the ski trip to “meet with chalet owners”.

Mr Macdonald also defended himself from accusations he was a “Sir Lunchalot”, which crippled the latter part of his political career.

He said he used his one-hour lunch break each day to “meet with stakeholders” rather than “have a few sandwiches in the office”.

Mr Ipp said he would hand down his findings on four probes into alleged corruption in July.

The four inquiries include the sensational 2011 inquiry involving Mr Macdonald and the prostitute Tiffanie as well as the inquiry dubbed “Honda-gate” about a discount car given to former roads minister Eric Roozendaal, the current inquiry and Operation Acacia inquiry into the Yarrawa tenement which begins next month.

Mr Ipp said the upcoming committal hearing for businessman Ron Medich for the murder of Michael McGurk meant the corruption inquiry’s findings needed to be completed swiftly.

The counsel assisting ICAC alleged Mr Macdonald received a “therapeutic massage” from Tiffanie in a Sydney hotel for arranging for Mr Medich to meet energy bosses.

The current hearing will resume on March 5 to hear from ICAC investigators and the Obeid family accountant, Sid Sassine.

One thought on “$450,000 in sham loans to throw ICAC off the scent

  1. Neville

    15 February, 2013

    No doubt the Tav Office will have a close look at this

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