One establishment figure who is about to find his comfortable life taking a turn for the worse is former Opes Prime chairman Peter Gillooly, who gave his first interview to Glenda Korporaal in The Australian today. The key quotes were as follows;

“I was informed of something that was happening which was not happening on the basis of the information that was given to the board.”

“The information I was given didn’t correspond to what had been put to the board.”

“Generally, the position of the company was totally different from what it was stated to the board. I resigned.”

“It’s a terrible situation. I was there on the basis that it was a business which was being properly run.”

“It was a legitimate business being run, I thought, very well.”

“I had nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the company. I was a totally independent director.”

“The whole thing has been audited twice since I have been there — I don’t know what else to say.”

Hoards of lawyers and aggrieved clients are looking for parties to blame who have some cash. Gillooly is one such party, courtesy of Victoria’s poker machine binge since 1991. As the effective CEO of Tattersalls for 16 years until 2000, he’s thought to have amassed a personal fortune exceeding $10 million.

Indeed, he’s presently moving from one $3 million East Melbourne property to a slightly better version with a nicer view of the MCG.

As former Optus and Fairfax finance director John Greaves discovered when One-Tel collapsed, there is a much greater responsibility placed on a chairman.

Greaves eventually settled with ASIC for $20 million. Some of those pokies losses pocketed by Gillooly might end up in the hands of some other hapless victims of a high-risk punting exercise.

* Check out this Opes Prime debate on Sky Business News channel

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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