Archive for September 2016

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 9. The Second Preferred Developer

After Mirvac dropped it, the attempted property development became a complete shambles. This is hardly a surprise. Tweedledum and Tweedledee had demonstrated they couldn’t run a snack bar, so a complicated property development was always likely to end in disaster.

It also meant that Campion’s lies got more desperate. In fact it was no longer possible to tell the truth. All the useless PR slogans, dished out to members about how well the development was going, were shattered. Mirvac, the great “preferred developer” preferred not to be involved, which meant any replacement could only ever be the “second preferred developer”.

Apart from the lies and deception the whole property development attempt became quite comical.

You may recall how, when Mirvac were anointed in December 2013, Patrick Campion listed the reasons they were chosen:

  • They had extensive experience of building in Sydney
  • They had the team and facilities in-house to complete the project.
  • They had the financial strength to complete it

By April 2015 Campion and Guilfoyle were so desperate for a developer they went to Melbourne to find a new cobbled together “team” that lacked everything Campion said he wanted in a developer.

You will not be surprised to hear that the project has not advanced one iota since then.

In another comic touch Campion told members that the new developer had been granted a “six month exclusivity period” – as if anyone else wanted it by then!

By the way, members were also told that the “new team will cover the cost of the new DA”.

Can someone get Campion to explain how the Club has now spent $2 million on the DA and still doesn’t have one?

Save City Tatts Committee

 

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 8. Getting rid of Wendy Fisher

In February 2015 the vice chairperson of the Club, Wendy Fisher, collapsed in the foyer and was taken to hospital.

But at City Tatts there is always more to the story.

It soon emerged that this happened while she was excluded from a Committee meeting.

And it was not the first time she had been excluded from a Committee meeting.

It didn’t take long to figure out what was happening. She was being excluded from the part of the meeting where the property development was discussed because she had started to ask questions about it.

It also emerged that this was part of a wider push by Tony Guilfoyle and Patrick Campion to get rid of her. It was bad enough that she was already questioning the property scheme but what really worried Guilfoyle was that one day she might be Chairman. Guilfoyle knew that with Campion as Chairman he could do whatever he wanted. He worried that it might be very different with another Chairman.

In any case, Wendy Fisher had enough of City Tatts by then and resigned a few months later, in April. She didn’t even wait until her term was up in May, which must be telling us something.

On it’s own, Campion’s behaviour towards Wendy Fisher is not a big deal. In fact it was quite normal at City Tatts when anyone questioned the insane mismanagement of the Club. Employees, and members, were treated the same way.

But when it is part of a bigger scheme to push through a fraudulent property development regardless of whether there is any benefit to members, it’s a lot more serious.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 7. Mirvac’s Rejection

The City Tatts property development (ie. Tony Guilfoyle’s property plan) was riddled with flaws from the start.

But until October 2014 Campion and Guilfoyle could claim it was going well, and most members wouldn’t know any better.

That all changed in late October 2014 when Mirvac dropped the project.

This was a devastating blow to Campion and Guilfoyle. And it showed. At the meeting to inform members, Campion looked like he was at a funeral.

The news was not a complete surprise to everyone. There had been a number of blogs in the months leading up to it suggesting that Mirvac might drop the project.

Campion must have realised that Mirvac’s rejection was probably the end of the development.

He had gifted Mirvac a prime CBD site for $25 million, when $75 million would be a starting point for negotiations – and still they didn’t want it!  That was bound to be a clear signal to every other major developer to stay away.

Which is why Campion and Guilfoyle were eventually forced to go with a Melbourne broker who had never built anything in Sydney.

So Mirvac’s rejection was not just a devastating blow back then. It hangs over the project to this day.

And Mirvac’s rejection was also the point of no return for Campion.

He knew that this could blow the lid on the whole property fraud. (For example, the secret $250,000 payment by Mirvac was revealed for the first time) And he knew that it was too late to start telling members the truth. It was going to be lies all the way from then on, until the property development ended – or the Club went broke.

So Campion ramped up the lies.

Here is a selection of what he told members about Mirvac’s rejection:

  • “This does not affect the Club’s development program”
  • “There is no change to the timing of the development approval”
  • “DA approval is expected by March 2015”
  • “It is possible we will lose one month”
  • “Club is likely to benefit from this turn of events”
  • “Cost to complete Stage 1 DA for approval by council is $295,000”

These were all lies at the time but now they are just hilarious!

And finally, in all his useless propaganda he never told members the real reason why Mirvac walked away.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 6. Getting rid of Johny Bineham

By the middle of 2014, the insane Guilfoyle property scheme seemed to be in full swing.

But not everyone was fooled.

Johny Bineham had been having a good look at the management of the Club – and didn’t like what he saw.

He also started asking questions about the proposed property development, at the “member briefings” held to promote it.

He quizzed Campion about the illegal mortgage. He also asked detailed questions about parts of the property development such as the “Wailing Wall” needed to create the so-called “interim club”.

One afternoon, in July 2014, he got a phone call from Jan Ellks to tell him he was suspended from the club, effective immediately.

The Club rules clearly state that a member can only be suspended after he is brought before the committee and given an opportunity to answer any charges. This never happened.

And the explanation is very simple.

He was suspended that afternoon to prevent him from attending the latest “member briefing” held that evening.

We don’t claim to understand the legal system, but we believe the facts of the Bineham case would be devastating to Patrick Campion in any court.

What defence could Campion offer?

Like so much of what he has done, it’s all documented fact. He can’t change it.

In the end the only possible conclusion of any court would be that Campion broke the rules of the club, again, in a desperate attempt to conceal the truth about the property development.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 5. The Mirvac Deal

In December 2013 Patrick Campion announced with great fanfare that Mirvac had been chosen as “preferred developer”.

And he backed this up with a number of sound reasons why they were the right choice.

Of course, as we all know, all of this came to nothing within 12 months when Mirvac dropped the project.

But apart from the dismal failure of the Mirvac experiment it is important to remember just how fraudulent the deal with Mirvac was.

Campion agreed to an extraordinary deal where Mirvac would complete the fit-out of the hotel and apartments to “warm shell”  stage, but hand over bare concrete floors (‘cold shell”) to the club for it’s premises.

Mirvac must have realised there was something very strange about not being asked to finish the club floors.

And they would have known. better than anyone, that the miserable amount of money they were giving the club, $25 million, would all be needed for the fit-out – which meant the deal left the club no better off than before.

If Mirvac did the whole job it would mean:

  1. The project would be completed sooner and more efficiently
  2. The overall project would cost less
  3. The finished premises would be handed over to the club at a predetermined cost
  4. The club could go to members for approval with exact details of the financial position the club would be in after completion

City Tatts insiders knew the only reason why Campion and Guilfoyle didn’t want Mirvac to do everything was to allow Guilfoyle and his mates to skim off the money allocated for the club fit-out.

The more Mirvac got into the project the more they realised that City Tatts was rotten and that if anyone ever looked at the City Tatts deal they might be implicated in a fraud.

So they made a very wise decision to walk away before that happened.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 4. Leasehold Apartments?

At the very first meeting in December 2012 to convince members to approve a property development, Patrick Campion listed a few “Guiding Principles” for the development.

One of these was that the Club would “retain ownership of all assets …”.

This meant that the apartments to be constructed over the Club would be sold as a 99 year lease only, with the Club retaining the freehold.

And if this happened the development made some kind of sense, because it would have created a new asset that the Club would always own.

This wasn’t just a thought bubble in Campion’s head. Three different advisers, Colliers, KPMG and Preston Rowe Patterson, all supported the leasehold sale idea.

Every legal expert contacted by Save City Tatts said from day one that the leasehold apartment sale idea would never happen.

Sure enough, in December 2013 Patrick Campion quietly informed members that the leasehold sale idea was “not feasible” and the apartments would be sold as normal strata – with Mirvac keeping all the profits.

If you wanted just one issue to show how corrupt (or stupid) the whole City Tatts property plan is, this would be it.

Campion started with a plan that would have given the Club an asset for the future. But when he “discovered” that this would not happen he just went ahead anyway!.

This proves what most observers said at the time. They wanted to do a property development because … they wanted to do a property development!

Whether there was any benefit to the Club made no difference.

Save City Tatts Committee

 

Corrupt Campion’s path to a property fraud – Step 3. Blocking Rule Changes

Once Campion put the illegal mortgage on the Club’s building it was obvious that he was hell-bent on going ahead with  Guilfoyle’s property development, regardless of what members wanted.

And it was obvious that the enormous profits to be made from the Club’s site were the real motivation for the development.

So, in April 2013, members proposed some rule changes (eight in all) to protect the Club from what was coming.

The key rule change would have required members to approve any contract where an employee or committee member got a benefit.

Now under the Club rules, when Campion, as Chairman, receives proposed rule changes from members, he must put these changes to all members to vote on.

But did he?

No – he blocked them.

Five of the eight, including the key measure, were never put to members.

The reasons offered by Campion for this were laughable, even by his standards.

He said the proposed rule changes would have prevented the Club from being run “effectively and efficiently”. As a legal expert said at the time, using the idiotic Campion reasoning, most of the existing rules of the Club would also need to be repealed to allow the Club to operate effectively and efficiently.

When this eventually gets the scrutiny it deserves in court Campion will have nowhere to hide.

Any judge will see his actions as an obvious part of a wider conspiracy to hand the Club’s site to a developer.

Save City Tatts Committee