Steve Vizard’s former bookkeeper Roy Hilliard lived the high-life. Luxury cruises, half a million put through his plastic and an indulgence of his love of philately, all on his employer’s tab. Now Hilliard is penniless, a declared bankrupt. So why is Westpac after him for $3 million? On 3AW yesterday Terry McCrann offered three possible explanations:

  1. Westpac reimbursed Vizard to the tune of $3m on the condition that he would co-operate in any cases to retrieve the money from Hilliard. On the basis that Vizard hasn’t been exactly forthcoming in the witness box, Westpac could argue he hasn’t kept his side of the bargain and wants its money back.
  2. The bank, in order to activate an insurance policy that may lead to its reimbursement, is obligated to pursue the matter through the courts first
  3. It wants to publicly demonstrate that the bank isn’t a soft touch for the rich and famous, and now disgraced.

McCrann dismissed the third option, thinking one of the first two was more likely. A Westpac spokesman said this was an admitted fraud and it would be irresponsible of the company not to pursue it.

But with all those QCs at the bar table, the case must be costing the bank a pretty penny. And how many bankrupts are there with a spare $3 mill?

Peter Fray

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