Actor Paul Hogan is in the spotlight over his financial issues once again, this time alleging his former tax advisor Philip Egglishaw has stolen over $32 million from a Swiss bank account.
Egglishaw is considered the catalyst behind the Wickenby Tax Inquiry, which formed part of the basis for the Australian Tax Office’s ongoing series of investigations into tax fraud, Operation Wickenby.
The incident comes after Hogan settled his long-running tax dispute with the Australian Tax Office last year.
An international arrest warrant has already been issued for Egglishaw, who is based in Switzerland.
Hogan alleges Egglishaw “absconded” with $32.3 million, which was kept at the Corner Bank in Lausanne, run by Geneva firm Strachans.
Swiss Newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported Hogan’s money “has been lying for almost 20 years in account number 379865 at the Corner Bank in Lausanne”.
Fairfax reported this morning documents filed in the Californian District Court by Hogan’s United States representative, Schuyler Moore, alleged Egglishaw had “absconded with or spent all” of Hogan’s millions.
SmartCompany contacted Moore and Hogan’s Australian lawyer, Andrew Robinson, but no response was received prior to publication.
Fairfax reports Moore emailed Egglishaw’s lawyer Paul Gully-Hart in October last year about the alleged theft.
“The actions of Egglishaw have now crossed the boundary of legality, and he is now engaging in criminal fraud, theft, and breach of fiduciary duty, and you are now directly aiding and abetting his criminal actions,” he allegedly wrote in an email.
”The Carthage Trust’s beneficiary [Hogan] is not going to stand idly by in the face of this theft, and he is going to take every step possible in every country possible to hold Egglishaw, Strachans, you, and your firm liable and brought to account.”
Co-signatory of the Carthage Trust, accountant Philip de Figueiredo, is currently serving two-and-a-half years in prison after he pleaded guilty last month in the Queensland Supreme Court to three counts of conspiring to defraud the Australian government.
De Figueiredo, Egglishaw and their clients have been investigated as part of Operation Wickenby, which has cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hogan, one the duo’s clients, and his former manager John Cornell were alleged to owe the Australian government $156 million in taxes, but in May last year the case was settled with the details remaining confidential.
Investigations into Hogan began in 2005 and at this time Egglishaw created the Carthage Trust, from which the financial advisor is alleged to have stolen the money.
Late last year, Moore launched action against Egglishaw and Strachans in the United States, but the case was dismissed by California District judge Otis Wright because the “long arm of the law” was too short to reach the defendants because they were not based in the Unites States.