One should always be wary of suggesting
another legal penalty to Laura Norder-crazed politicians, but it looks like we
could do with some of nice, broad catchall power to seize assets suspected of
being the proceeds of shonkiness and scumbaggery.

Your simple mugger or drug pedlar seems to
be caught up easily enough by proceeds of crime statutes, but white collar
grubs like Westpoint’s Norm Carey and real estate spruiker Henry Kaye appear to
delight in playing the legal system for mugs much the same way they did
investors.

The saga of what Carey doesn’t know about
the empire of companies, assets and trusts he doesn’t own is taking up far too
much time in the Federal Court. His effort yesterday in not knowing about various assets and shuffling millions of dollars between
trusts would have done Alan Bond proud.

The history of white collar crime shows the
crooks, with their compliant lawyer and accounting mercenaries, delight in
exploiting family trusts to keep their ill-gotten gains away from those they
defrauded. They are succeeding in building a case for the reversal of the
burden of proof – it should be up to the shonks’ families and associates to
prove why the assets shouldn’t be seized.

And then there’s the appalling Henry Kaye.
The Smage‘s Cameron Houston has a nice story alleging Kaye has hidden more than $50 million from his
liquidators in Melbourne real estate. The same writer
had a yarn on Saturday about Kaye planning to set up a network of bars and
nightclubs
through friends and business associates.

Meanwhile our learned Attorneys-General are
concentrating on the big issues – how to prevent turkey slapping on TV.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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