“As usual, he [Karas] said, ‘I’m just going to find a puppet to take on him and I’m going to channel my money’ from the Bulla interest he had, and make the deal happen,” Charter told the court last month.
“I was a 12.5% shareholder of the Bulla tip and Tom had a financial interest in the Bulla tip and still has it. And I was aware of the revenue streams from that tip which are in the millions and millions he told the court.
Charter’s evidence raises questions about whether Karas’ bankruptcy trustee and the ATO are aware of his alleged involvement in the tip.
When contacted by ageKaras denied having a financial interest in the tip.
Karas, who did not testify in a four-day trial last month, confirmed he discussed buying the Fitzroy home with the Charters, but said he was negotiating on behalf of a friend who would fund the deal and lease the property. to Karas and his wife.
He accused the Charter brothers of wanting to terminate the sale contract because the value of the property had recently increased to around $4 million.
Gulabovski confirmed in court that he was not involved in the negotiations for the property, but agreed with Karas to purchase the property on behalf of his company, while structuring the loan agreements.
He said he was aware of Karas’ bankruptcy when the deal was made.
Karas, who was declared bankrupt in 2015, owes the tax authorities nearly $67 million, according to a May 2020 Pitcher Partners creditor report, after battling with authorities for more than a decade over the source. of his wealth.
“[Tom Karas] is a person of primary interest for the joint special project being carried out between the ATO’s Serious Non-Compliance Section and the Victoria Police Purana Task Force investigating those who may be involved in or benefit from the crime scene organized from Melbourne,” said ATO officer George Khouri. in a 2011 affidavit filed in the Supreme Court. Mr. Karas was never charged with any crime in connection with these allegations.
ATO investigators also discovered that the Greek identity card of Christos Karaglanis, a truck driver and seasonal olive picker from a small town in the far east of Greece, had been reported stolen from the European police agency Interpol.
According to the ATO, Mr. Karas, a cousin of Mr. Karaglanis, allegedly used his identity to make multimillion-dollar loans and investments in real estate and stock markets in an attempt to launder money from the company. dope.
“Karas’ tax liability stems in part from the fact that he received, but did not disclose, proceeds from the use of a false identity,” Mr. Kouri said in the affidavit.
Supreme Court Justice James Gorton is expected to rule in the coming months on the dispute.
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