Let the blame games begin.
Article originally published SEPTEMBER 1, 2005 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
Cannonballs of blame are being hurled across Martin Place, Sydney, between the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Administrator Geoff McDonald of Hall Chadwick.
In the middle of last month, notorious spruiker Kovelan Bangaru, mastermind of the collapsed Streetwise Group, flew safely out of Australia, whilst his companies went into liquidation.
Thirty million dollars has disappeared, so the question on the lips of the 350 aggrieved investors and tradesmen is: “Who let this corporate crook get away?”
Who decided that Bangaru was not a flight risk?
Well, a month or so ago, Bangaru moved out of his $10 million penthouse, the National Australia Bank were owed a cool $11 million, he handed back the keys to the Bentley, the million-dollar Maybach, the Audi and the other toys.
Only his closest henchmen had Bangaru’s new mobile number.
Neil Jenman tracked down Bangaru and had two meetings with him before luring him to a third meeting where Paul Barry from 60 Minutes was waiting with a television crew.
About a week after the story aired on Channel Nine – in which Jenman said Bangaru should go to jail because “there is clear evidence of fraud” – Bangaru was on a jet out of the country.
There he was grinning in first class as he flew past the office windows at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Yesterday, the Bangaru-getaway-blame-game began.
ASIC fired a direct hit on the Administrator, by emailing the creditors and advising them that Bangaru escaped because Administrator Geoff McDonald had insisted that Bangaru was “no longer a flight risk”.
An hour later, a furious McDonald fired back at ASIC by emailing the same creditors claiming that ASIC is to the blame for Bangaru’s escape. He ended his terse message with threats to sue ASIC for defamation.
Meanwhile, at least five major credit providers are threatening homeowners with eviction from their homes. However, these investors are not your ordinary everyday garden variety. They are fighting to save their homes in a manner reminiscent of the movie The Castle.
Unfortunately, Bangaru’s victims are a peeved to find out that ASIC investigations into Bangaru commenced in 2002. Most of the loot was stolen in 2003.
So now it’s time to play the blame game.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
UPDATE: Bangaru was apprehended overseas and brought back to Australia. In 2010 he received a sentence of 8.5 years in jail.
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