UK/AUSTRALIA - Former Money Portal boss Tony Morris has had his assets frozen by top Australian judges over his links to the £52m GP Noble fraud case.
Independent Trustee Services legal battle to recover the millions missing from nine affected pension schemes spread to the Australian legal system after Morris was discovered living a life of luxury earlier this year. Morris is a former chief of The Money Portal, which owned Nottingham-based GP Noble.
The New South Wales High Court ruling comes after British judge Mr Justice Peter Smith named Morris as a central figure in the pension scheme fraud.
The documents reveal the complex web of transactions in the fraud.
Some of the misappropriated millions went towards buying a £150,000 Aston Martin from a dealership in Mayfair. Other cash was used to buy land in Thailand and a hefty £1.4m divorce settlement.
Mr Justice Peter Smith confirmed the involvement of Tony Morris, the former boss of Money Portal - the financial advice firm which ultimately owned Nottingham-based GP Noble.
In April, this year Australian news outlet Seven Network revealed to Global Pensions' sister title Professional Pensions that Morris was living a life of luxury on the Sydney shores. In a TV interview Morris denied any wrong doing and said he would cooperate with the investigation.
However, the judge said: "In that interview Mr Morris told a number of obvious lies."
The documents confirm Morris had no official involvement in the court hearing - aside from a single email where he denied he had done any wrong. However, the judge said he believed Morris to be at the centre of the fraud.
The £52m was transferred in two tranches to various companies connected to Morris. These included Multiple and Unilateral Financial Futures (MUFF), which received £45m intended to be invested in bonds. Independent Trustee Services said the investments are "worthless".
The case has a total of 27 defendants, many of which are off-shore companies. Criminal proceedings against GP Noble trustees Graham Pitcher and Gary Cordell are ongoing.
In May, it emerged £32m had been recovered.
ITS and law firm Taylor Wessing continue to hunt for the remaining assets.
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