Disgraced Australian businessman Clive Palmer has found himself in even more hot water after one of his property deals went wrong.
The 63-year-old has been ordered to pay $25,000 in fines after it was revealed he tried to offload his Sovereign Islands mansion to his son. While the $25,000 won’t bother the multi-millionaire too much, it is another blow to his reputation.
The Courier Mail reports that The Sovereign Island Gateway Company and The Sovereign Island Company, both non-profit and resident-run companies, attempted to retrieve the money from the former politician by lodging an application in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
It is alleged that Palmer breached a clause in his initial agreement by failing to notify The Sovereign Island Gateway Company when he transferred the ownership of his $1.3 million property to his son, Michael, 15 years ago.
Since handing over the property, Palmer has racked up the debt and an additional $326.80 of interest. He didn’t reply to the application, resulting in the issue going to court.
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Court documents also noted that Palmer’s location was unknown and that he was allowed to supply documents for the hearing via post. The current situation means that Palmer has 30 days to pay back his debt or risk the case being taken to a higher court.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Sovereign Island Gateway Company secretary and director Roslyn McKiernan told the Courier Mail. “If he doesn’t pay this then I’ll go to an enforcement hearing and if he ignores me an officer will have to go and get him and bring him to court and if he refuses to do that, I’ll have to go through with seizure and sale of property.”
It is also alleged that in addition to his debt, Palmer owes more than $8,000 in unpaid levies to the gated communities for security and gardening expenses. Despite him secretly making his son the owner of the property, McKiernan added that Palmer still had to pay up.
“He’s still liable, on top of the debt for breaching the clause, to pay for the outstandings (in levies),” she said. “We do have services to provide. It’s an equity issue. We are required to show that everyone should participate in the payment of levies to enjoy security, gardens and parks.”
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The property in question isn’t the only one that Palmer has ties to. An additional three are owned by his son, Michael, four are in the name of his wife, Anna Alezandrova Palmer, while one is in the name of his daughter, Emily Susan Moraig Palmer.
Just last month, liquidators lodged an application for an arrest warrant of Palmer after he failed to appear in court following a $106 million lawsuit relating to his mining business.
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