Quotes were being inflated at a collapsed regional Queensland building empire to secure more money from the bank, a court has been told.
Quotes were being inflated at a collapsed regional Queensland building empire to secure more money from the bank, a court has been told. Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay

Quotes inflated, bank ‘tricked’: ex-United employees

QUOTES were being inflated at a collapsed regional Queensland building empire to secure more money from the bank, a court has been told.

Former employees of property developer United Project Partners revealed the explosive allegations on the first day of a public examination into the property developer at Brisbane Federal Court yesterday.

United, once a leading property developer across regional Queensland, went into liquidation in the middle of 2017.

It owed $13 million to businesses and people who had invested their superannuation in the United Group.

Six people, including United director Gene Farrelly, have been summoned to court this week to shed light on the company's collapse.

Gene Farrelly, director of United Project Partners Pty Ltd.
Gene Farrelly, director of United Project Partners Pty Ltd.

Lawyer Gavin Handran questioned former United employee Douglas Channells whether Westpac was being misled about building contracts being inflated to secure more money.

 

Doug Channells, a former United employee, gave evidence at the public examination into the collapsed development company yesterday.
Doug Channells, a former United employee, gave evidence at the public examination into the collapsed development company yesterday.

Mr Channells told the court he would submit quotes to Mr Farrelly, who would ask him to write up the contract for more than what was quoted.

"He told me he wanted to get the maximum loan value out of the contract, so he didn't have to put large deposits in."

Mr Handran said contracts were only ever inflated for "procuring more money" from the bank.

"It wasn't an artificial profit grab you've described, it was a trick that was played on the bank," Mr Handran said.

Andrew Nicolai, another employee, was questioned whether he knew part of the money investors were using was being sourced from self-managed super funds.

Mr Nicolai said the business was "mixed up" in the early stages with no accounting software or guidelines in place.

"I was told to get loan information together for a particular person … at that stage it felt a bit unusual there was no software, nothing in place," he said.

The examination, before Registrar Katie Lynch, continues.

- NewsRegional



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