Sep 3, 2013

Prime target: Bill Lewski, the $33m fee and a question of Trust

Bill Lewski and his colleagues at Prime Trust are accused of making expensive and fraudulent transactions. But ASIC is treading very carefully.

Adam Schwab ā€” Business director and commentator

Adam Schwab

Business director and commentator

The Prime Trust saga has taken a further twist this week, with the ABC discovering controversial emails linking former Prime boss Bill Lewski to a multimillion-dollar payment which casts further focus on the actions of the colourful former accountant.

As Crikey reported earlier this year, while Prime Trust collapsed in 2010 owing investors (most of whom were self-funded retirees) more than $550 million, Lewski, a former partner of the late Max Green, appears to have fared far better. In total, interests associated with Lewski collected more than $150 million from Prime. This occurred through a swathe of controversial transactions, most notably a $33 million “listing fee” and the gifting of management rights to Lewski for virtually no consideration (which Lewski soon after sold for $60 million).

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