Business partner went after GST refunds ‘like a bloodhound’
A SELF-professed "bloodhound" has been accused of asking a colleague to fraudulently witness documents and accused of receiving more than $400,000 of investor funds when the company was on its knees.
Jody Swain took the stand as a witness in Brisbane Federal Court on Thursday during the public examination of United Project Partners, a Gympie-based property developer that collapsed in 2017 owing $13 million.
Earlier this week it was alleged that the company inflated building contracts to secure money from Westpac bank and today more explosive allegations were aired.
The court was told that Mr Swain was acting in partnership with United director Gene Farrelly and "deeply embedded" in the affairs of the company.
Barrister Gavin Handran, acting for the company's liquidator, said that in 2015, when the company was struggling for cash, investor funds were used to pay Mr Swain $434,000 and Mr Farrelly $574,000 on top of their wages.
Mr Swain said the balance should show "credit not debit" because he had put "hundreds of thousands" of dollars of his own money into United.
Mr Handran also revealed an email that Mr Swain sent to Farrelly in 2015 where he said he would go after investors' GST refunds like a "bloodhound".
But Mr Swain said he was just "talking crap".
It was also alleged that Mr Swain was an "architect" of a plan asking employee Andrew Nicolai, who was a commissioner for declarations, to falsely witness powers of attorney.
Mr Swain replied: "I don't know if I was the one who came up with the idea, I honestly don't".
Throughout the examination Mr Swain said it was Mr Farrelly who "managed it all" and that he was not aware of the cash flow problems.
"Can you understand that I'm in Toowoomba digging post holes, wearing asbestos suits ... working 80 hours a week when he (Mr Farrelly) is in the office with his staff doing whatever he is doing," Mr Swain said.
"What I knew was anything he did or didn't want me to know."
But Mr Handran said the emails showed that he was receiving cash flow updates and accelerating sources of funds.
"It's pretty clear that by this stage, isn't it Mr Swain, that you and Gene were moving the deck chairs on the Titanic trying to reshuffle things?" Mr Handran said.
"Getting your hands on GST refunds, refinancing where you could ..."
Mr Swain said he thought of Mr Farrelly as a "superhero" and now believed he had been included in the emails for a "secret purpose".
"I think I was getting buried as a scapegoat," Mr Swain said.
Six people, including Mr Farrelly, have been summoned to court as witnesses this week to shed light on the company's collapse.
The examination continues under Registrar Katie Lynch. - NewsRegional