Archive for February 2016

ASIC and the Bookmakers Super Fund

ASIC has banned Timothy Hornbrook from providing financial services for six years.

Hornbrook was director and responsible manager of Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFML), a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank.

Hornbrook and his sales team came up with the idea of a fake family investment office. They then used this to extract confidential information from Macquarie Agricultural’s competitors on the pretence it was assessing potential investment opportunities.

ASIC found that Hornbrook had breached his duties as an officer of a responsible entity by:

  • failing to act honestly,
  • misusing the information he acquired in order to gain an improper advantage for himself and Macquarie Agricultural,
  • misusing his position as director of Macquarie Agricultural

Now, this ASIC decision is all well and good but the Macquarie misbehaviour is trivial compared to the fraud at the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund.

The Bookmakers Super Fund was run from City Tattersalls Club for 20 years and many employees and members had their retirement money in it.

In 2004 the four trustees of the fund, John Kennedy, Peter Hayes-Williams, Peter Mueller and Ian Buxton concocted a scheme to skim millions in “fees” from members holdings for doing absolutely nothing.

This Bookmakers Super Fund scheme was pure fraud. There is no other way to say it.

Using the standard applied by ASIC to Macquarie Agricultural Funds, those four trustees would have to go to jail.

Save City Tatts Committee

Michael Cossetto and Bartier Perry

Very few realise the essential role Bartier Perry have played in the destruction of City Tatts.

They played a key role because they consistently gave legal advice that protected Tony Guilfoyle but went against the interests of members.

Bartier Perry know that it is the members who are their real client and who they should be acting for. But it was Tony Guilfoyle who was in a position to give them a lot of money so in reality they act for him.

Most of the shifty plotting against members is done by a slimeball called Michael Cossetto. If you want to know why people have a low opinion of the legal profession have a look at this cheat. He even looks disgusting.

Bartier Perry first showed how far they would go to protect Tony Guilfoyle back in 2006 when members called a special meeting to halt Guilfoyle’s looting of the club. Bartier Perry’s representative at the time was a sleazebag called Rowan Bieske, who conspired with John Healy and Keith Free to save Guilfoyle. Bieske claimed that the motions were not valid because they were not for “proper purposes”. When he was asked at the meeting to give an example of what would be a “proper purpose” he couldn’t say.

Another good example of Bartier Perry working for Tony Guilfoyle, and against members, is the mortgage on the club’s premises at 196-204 Pitt Street. Guilfoyle was desperate to move to ANZ Bank but they would only lend if they got a full mortgage over the land and buildings. The problem was that the City Tattersalls Act required members to approve any mortgage, which would have alerted members to the club’s plight. And how did Bartier Perry deal with this? They told Guilfoyle to ignore the Act of Parliamant and go ahead and give ANZ the mortgage!

When the Department of Gaming & Racing heard that Guilfoyle had taken $200,000 from the club, on top of his insane salary, without the knowledge of the committee, Bartier Perry rushed to his aid with spurious advice that this was normal. Getting Bartier Perry to deal with Gaming & Racing has the added advantage that they can tell lies on his behalf that he could not tell directly (because of the risk he would be declared not a “fit and proper person” to work in a registered club).

And, of course, Bartier Perry are heavily involved any time a member tries to expose the many frauds going on in the club. They immediately launch defamation proceedings on behalf of Guilfoyle or Campion, while knowing that the allegations are all true.

Obviously these efforts to protect Guilfoyle (and his income) do not come cheap. This is what Bartier Perry have taken from City Tatts:

2005          79,819

2006          72,293

2007         232,588

2008          71,900

2009          66,285

2010         185,187

2011         195,899

2012          66,713

2013          72,147

2014         146,052

2015         100,000

Total       1,288,883

This is a truly staggering sum for one club to pay in legal fees. Almost all of this is for Tony Guilfoyle, either to protect him against members or to aid his insane property plans (which do nothing for members). About one tenth would be for normal club legal advice.

Save City Tatts Committee

Mark Cooper – Keeper of the Secrets

As previously mentioned, Tony Guilfoyle could not loot City Tatts all by himself. He needed the full support of a team willing to sell their souls for money.

Mark Cooper, the City Tatts “Financial Controller”, is certainly one of those.

From a financial point of view, City Tatts is probably the worst run club in Sydney, when you compare the dismal performance to how it should be, given all of it’s advantages.

But to Tony Guilfoyle, and the Committee, that doesn’t matter.

Mark Cooper’s real role is “Keeper of the Secrets”.

All the financial information from the various departments is carefully segregated and goes directly to him. So he is the only one who knows the complete picture.

That’s the way Guilfoyle wants it, but it also means that Cooper will have nowhere to hide if a liquidator, or the police, start asking questions.

Cooper has been overpaid for the entire time he has worked under Guilfoyle. In 2005 his salary was $190,000. At the time the most any financial controller was being paid in a similar sized club was $140,000 (and they were all run much better). His salary stayed at $190,000 until 2011 when it was increased to $200,000. Since he has been overpaid by $50,000 each and every year it means he has been gifted $550,000 in 11 years on top of his normal salary.

Not bad for someone who is not even an accountant!

But there is a reason for this generosity with members money.

City Tatts has been bled dry on every side by waste and embezzlement.

Millions have disappeared on dubious building projects. Restaurant expenses are so high they must be paying for supplies that never arrive at City Tatts. The poker machine takings make no sense, and a skim operation is the most likely explanation. The wages bill is way above anything that could be explained by the number of employees, even when the inflated salaries of the inner circle are taken into account.

And then, of course, there are special rorts, like paying Guilfoyle $200,000 on top of his insane salary, without telling the Committee.

The financial controller had to be onside to do all this.

And Mark Cooper was the obvious choice. He was Keith Free’s nephew and, of course, it was Keith Free who nominated Tony Guilfoyle for the top job. And, don’t forget, Keith Free ran the Bookmakers Superannuation Fund from City Tatts for 20 years.

Some people think that Mark Cooper will be the first to crack when the police come calling.

We don’t think so. He knows that he is going to jail for a long stretch if the full story of all the corruption at City Tatts is ever revealed. So we think he will hold out to the very end.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Mark Lonngren – an expensive bluffer

Mark Lonngren is listed as a consultant but really he is a full time City Tatts employee, and paid as such.

His official title is believed to be building manager or maintenance manager but no one knows for sure.

It’s always been a mystery what he actually does. Certainly the rest of the maintenance staff have no idea.

If he is the maintenance manager, then he might be the strangest one in the world. Apparently he supervises the maintenance of the club from home, when it is probably the one job that you need to be on-site to do.

This puzzle about what he actually does led to one of the funnier exchanges at a City Tatts AGM. After the chairman tried a few times to fob off a member with prepared answers about Lonngren that told nothing the member just repeated “Yes, but what is he? What is he? Is he a plumber? Is he an electrician? What is he?”

The correct answer is that he is a bluffer, and an expensive bluffer at that.

This is what he has pocketed at City Tatts:

Year             $

2005          59,450

2006          42,626

2007          76,148

2008          85,995

2009          72,915

2010         117,421

2011         126,478

2012         120,502

2013         114,818

2014         115,701

2015         116,080

Total    $1,058,134

Just in the past three years he has collected $100,000 each year The question is for what. It can’t be for maintenance, because (a) very little maintenance is being done in the club (which you can tell by walking around) and (b) there is a full maintenance team who already know what to do.

The word is that he has spent a lot of time on the Mirvac apartment plans. But Mirvac designed thousands of apartments before they ever heard of City Tatts, so they would not be waiting on a bluffer like Lonngren to tell them what to do. And since the Mirvac plan never even got as far as Stage 1 DA approval the interiors of any final design could be very different to the first Mirvac plan. So any Lonngren input would be worthless, especially with a new developer.

So here we have another member of the City Tatts $1 million club.

But we know all the normal maintenance could have been done by the rest of the maintenance crew. And his design work was for projects that either, never happened (Mirvac), have since been demolished (eg. the “padded room” Silks entrance) or were total failures (luke the so-called “grand entrance” that looks more like a warehouse).

So really as far as members are concerned, the $1 million he has received is just a donation, because there is almost nothing to show for it.

Save City Tatts Committee