Palmer’s ‘sham document made in a hurry’

By Hedley Thomas - The Australian

The Chinese suspect that the “sham” document came into existence months after Mr Palmer had signed a cheque for $10m, in early August last year, and another cheque, for $2. 167m in September, resulting in $12. 167m of Chinese funds being siphoned from a bank account.

In their statement of claim, the Chinese said the “sham” document was called a “port management services agreement” as “an attempt to justify the payments as legitimate expenses for or in res­pect of port management services when, to Palmer’s knowledge, they were not”.

The document, which appeared to have been cobbled together in “extreme haste”, was littered with more than 100 errors and “gobbledegook” — from misspelling the name of Mr Palmer’s company that received $10m in Chinese funds, to putting his companies at the wrong address.

He has been accused of a “dishonest procurement” of the funds from the account and of funnelling the first $10m to a company he controlled, Cosmo Developments Pty Ltd, and $2. 167m to a Brisbane agency, Media Circus Network Pty Ltd, which placed costly ads for PUP during the federal election campaign last year.

Clive Palmer’s foe in a rapidly escalating row involving serious claims of fraud and dishonesty over $12 million in missing Chin­ese funds believes it has a smoking gun — a “sham” document that was allegedly fabricated in a hurried, clumsy bid to justify the huge withdrawal of cash, court documents show.

The Chinese said Mr Palmer’s flagship company, Miner­alogy, “did not have the need to incur expenses in relation to the port or for port management services … in the sum of $12m … in circumstances where it was not in possession of the port”.

The exact origins and timing of the alleged “sham” have not yet been disclosed, but Mr Palmer has been named as having exec­uted the document, according to documents put before the Queensland Supreme Court.

If the document had been executed on June 1 last year, as purported, it was “inconceivable” that Mr Robinson would not have known about it, and it would have been the subject of evidence in the Federal Court in the second half of the year, according to the Chin­ese.

Claiming that it bore “the hallmarks of having been created with extreme haste”, they described in the document “the existence of numerous clauses wholly irrelevant to the port; an amalgam of fonts; multiple misspellings, multiple drafting errors, and gobbledegook”.

The 105 mistakes and anomal­ies in the document include referring to Cosmo Developments as “Como’’; nominating an address in Brisbane, when at the time the registered address of the companies were in Perth; and a “reference to expenses of cleaning out the settlement pond, excluding the evaporation pond”, when there are no such ponds at the port.

The Chinese said that it had not been disclosed prior to May this year, despite it being a “discoverable document” in Federal Court proceedings dating back to last August.

The Chinese said that, to Mr Palmer’s knowledge, Cosmo had “no employees capable of performing port management servic­es”, which was also confirmed by Mr Robinson in evidence at an interim hearing in May.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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