Paul Hogan

In another chapter in a story vastly more interesting than any of his movies, alleged actor and long-time ATO adversary Paul Hogan is having difficulty getting his hands on the tens of millions of dollars he stashed in offshore tax havens to avoid Australian authorities.

Recent reports suggest Hogan, 78, regrets hiring a man whose professional experience includes “mastermind” and “international fugitive” as the person in control of the barbecue shrimp advocate’s vast fortunes, amassed largely from Crocodile Dundee royalties.

Hogan’s ongoing financial issues mirror the escapades undertaken by his tax-dodging character in the 2005 comedy Strange Bedfellows, in the sense they have generated few laughs and a feeling of festering resentment from the small number of people who followed the saga.

According to Fairfax, Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported that Hogan’s $US34 million bounty “has been lying for almost 20 years in account number 379854 at the Corner Bank in Lausanne,” leading some to speculate why the paper didn’t go even further with specific details — such as the branch’s opening and closing hours and the name of the manager overseeing the account.

There is already an international warrant out for Phillip “the bowler hat Englishman” Egglishaw, Hogan’s tax “advisor.” But, Fairfax reports, “now the international fugitive has the Australian actor on his tail,” suggesting Hogan will don his iconic oiled leather hat and come after Eddlishaw armed with a hunting knife and an array of irritating jokes.

“For a variety of ethical reasons I am not available to comment,” lawyer Craig Emanual told Fairfax when questioned about Hogan’s latest financial farrago, demonstrating a level of professionalism sadly bereft in Lightning Jack (1994), Almost an Angel (1990) and virtually everything bearing his client’s name.

Operation Wickenby, a collaboration between the ATO and the Australian Crime Commission, pursued Hogan for unpaid taxes for eight years before eventually settling the matter confidentially.

In a move that temporarily protected the public from another Crocodile Dundee in LA style cash grab, Hogan was banned in 2010 from leaving the country. After his classification as a flight risk was rescinded, the former “Come and say G’Day” ambassador for Australian tourism flew out of Sydney wearing a large fake moustache, in turn creating his first truly funny joke in decades.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey