Crocodile Dundee Missing $34M in Swiss Bank

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
April 17, 2013 7:54 am Last Updated: April 20, 2013 2:54 am

Crocodile Dundee missing $34M: Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan is trying to recover $34 million his financial adviser allegedly absconded with while helping the star deposit it in a Swiss bank account.

Paul Hogan’s financial adviser, Philip Egglishaw, is a wanted man in Australia. When the Australian government set up Operation Wickenby to fight tax evasion through offshore accounts, it issued an international warrant for Egglishaw, and imprisoned his associate Philip Eric de Figueiredo earlier this year.

Egglishaw helped Hogan deposit more than $34 million in a Swiss bank account, according to a International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which recently reported in-depth on “The Global Offshore Money Maze.”

Hogan settled privately with the Australian government on his tax evasion case, and Egglishaw is now said to be in Switzerland—with Hogan’s money.

Hogan’s Los Angeles-based attorney, Schuyler ”Sky” Moore, emailed Egglishaw’s lawyer in Switzerland, Paul Gully-Hart.

“[Hogan] is not going to stand idly by in the face of this theft, and he is going to take every step possible in every country possible to hold Egglishaw, Strachans [a Geneva firm that owns the bank Hogan’s money is in], you, and your firm liable and brought to account,” wrote Moore, according to ICIJ.

Egglishaw, also known as the “bowler hat Englishman,” is allegedly behind Australia’s biggest tax evasion scheme, which Operation Wickenby has expended millions on uncovering.

De Figueiredo is serving an approximately 2.5-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the commonwealth. He helped entertainment industry executive Glenn Wheatley, also known as the base player in the 1960s rock band  The Masters Apprentices, evade more than $4 million in tax, according to The Australian.

Other high-profile alleged tax evaders uncovered by ICIJ include Baron Elie de Rothschild, late guardian of the French branch of the Rothschild banking dynasty; members of one of Brazil’s richest families, the Steinbruchs, with business in the steel, textile, and financial industries; Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; the late Gunter Sachs of Germany, famed author, photographer, and industrialist; members of Kuwait’s ruling family; and more.

UPDATE:

Egglishaw broke an eight-year media silence to respond to allegations of having stolen Hogan’s money. 

The Financial Review posted excerpts of the statement on its website Wednesday. 

“It is a matter of public record that I have acted for various Australian clients … My firm is regulated, externally audited and operates openly in Switzerland,” Egglishaw said. “The accusations made in the media this week that I or my firm have stolen or inappropriately dealt with client funds are completely false and vehemently denied.”

Egglishaw said: “We are strictly following advice received from our Australian QCs to achieve an outcome satisfactory to our clients and the Australian authorities to allow repatriation of funds to Australia ensuring that all due taxes are met.”