The Vizard plot continues to thicken with the SMH piece suggesting that the funnyman could be in yet another spot of bother. Vizard’s quandary stems from an agreement he made with Westpac (under a Deed of Settlement) to “fully co-operate” should the bank bring proceedings against Vizard’s former bookkeeper, Roy Hilliard.

The whole Vizard mess was launched by the man himself way back in 2000 when he alleged that Hilliard stole $3 million from his companies. Vizard then convinced Westpac to repay $2 million of the stolen money on the grounds that it was not Vizard’s signature on forms that were faxed to Westpac which had increased Hilliard’s authority to sign cheques. The quid pro quo for Westpac handing over $2 million was that Vizard would cooperate in the Westpac civil proceeding against Hilliard.

Vizard’s spinner, Mike Smith, noted that his client faced quite a quandary, stating that if Westpac were to call Vizard that would “raise some issues.” While Vizard would be able to claim privilege against self-incrimination, if he refused to answer questions which would vindicate Westpac’s case against Hilliard, Vizard would hardly be deemed to be “cooperating” with the proceeding.

Vizard could perhaps argue that under the deed of settlement, his obligation to cooperate is limited by bounds of reasonableness and that “full cooperation” does not extend so far as making comments that may cause him to go to jail.

So if push comes to shove, will Vizard end up repaying Westpac the $2 million and spend the rest of his life trying to forget the name Roy Hilliard?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey