A mother and son are alleged to have racked up a multi-million dollar debt between them as part of a scheme to reduce the amount of money he would have to pay to his soon-to-be ex-wife.
The pair reportedly connived together to attempt to minimise the sum that the husband would be required to pay to the mother of his children, with the grandmother loaning her son millions of dollars for ‘home renovations’, which he has not yet repaid, as a way of reducing his financial assets.
Divorcing couple Mr and Ms Karllsson – not their real names – are currently embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings after deciding to end their four and a half year marriage, according to the Herald Sun, and the pair are claimed to have spent the past five years fighting over the division of their $50 million estate and access to their two young children.
The former couple allegedly enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle during their time together, with expensive holidays abroad, numerous cars, homes and designer clothing, but Mr Karllsson’s ex-partner accused him of trying to short change her in an elaborate ruse with his mother, who openly admitted she wished to minimise whatever payment her son had to make to his ex.
After separating, the court heard Mr Karllsson purchased a home for $3.8 million, using a $1 million loan from his mother, he then received further financial funding for a $4.6 million renovation of the new home, which included installing a lift for his seven cars.
However the works only increased his new home’s value by $800,000 and raised the amount owed to his mother to more than $8.6 million, which the court heard he has made no repayments towards.
Ms Karllsson claimed that the renovation was simply part of a scheme, thought up by Mr Karllsson and his mother, to shrink the value of their property pool, which she claims was worth $77 million, and therefore pay her less.
Judge Janine Stevenson agreed the loan seemed designed to create a large debt between Mr Karllsson and his mother and vowed to take this apparent intent into account in the wife’s favour.
Justice Stevenson reportedly found the couple’s assets totalled $49.8 million and ordered Mr Karllsson to pay his ex-wife a total sum of $9.7 million, which does not include the child support payments that Mr Karllson was already paying voluntary of $550-a-week
She said: “I consider that it would be contrary to their best interests if there was a significant disparity in the lifestyle available to them in the homes of their mother and father. They are accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle, which was created for them jointly by the parties.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that a couple, from Queensland, splashed out more than $2 million in legal fees on what was dubbed ‘Australia’s longest-running divorce battle’ spanning a total of 15-years.
It was claimed the court refused to make a ruling on a property dispute until the couple settled a business compensation claim, with the wife accusing her ex-husband of failing to produce bank statements and not submitting affidavits on time.