RACE NOW ON FOR USD$4.3 BILLION DAMAGES CLAIM AGAINST AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
After a 23-year legal battle, the path clears for Allan Endresz to put bankruptcy behind him and to hunt down a USD$4.3 billion damages claim against the Australian Government in the High Court.
Zucoins L.P. founder and colourful racehorse owner of cult horse “Alligator Blood”, Allan Endresz says he is “elated” after receiving confirmation of a historic debt assignment that paves the way for him to emerge from bankruptcy and to pursue a USD$4.3 billion legal claim against the Australian Government.
Mr Endresz has been involved in a complex and hard fought legal battle that dates back to 1999 when a Government contractor transferred more than $8.7million to two of his businesses: Davis Samuel L.P. and CTC Resources.
The Government contractor was later convicted of fraud and served 3 ½ years in jail.Since then, Mr Endresz and his business partner, Peter Cain, have been embroiled in a legal stoush with the Government, one that he describes as “a cross between a legal game of chess and real-life Mortal Kombat”, which eventually resulted – after three previously unsuccessful attempts – in Mr Endresz being bankrupted on 27 August, 2020.
But in January 2022, Mr Endresz created a unique path to have his bankruptcy set aside or annulled (at his choosing) – a process that for the first time is now under his control.
In an extraordinary twist, on 28 January 2022, Davis Samuel L.P. (his corporate advisory firm) acquired the Judgment Debt from the Commonwealth Government (for an undisclosed sum).
It means that Davis Samuel L.P., of which Mr Endresz is General Trustee Partner, has successfully acquired the Commonwealth’s absolute right title and interest in a $18.633 million Judgment Debt awarded against Mr Endresz in the ACT Supreme Court 8 years ago, and unshackles him to take the next steps.
The USD$4.3 billion civil damages claim had previously seemed to be consigned to the dustbins of history after Mr Endresz was made a bankrupt with a tattered business reputation.
On 27 August 2020, Justice Gleeson, in the Federal Court, rejected the submissions made by Mr Endresz and ordered his bankruptcy. A subsequent appeal to the Full Federal Court was later denied by Justices Griffiths, Thawley and O’Bryan, and Mr Endresz was made a bankrupt for the first time despite fending off three previous attempts by the Commonwealth.
“My reputation has been dragged through the mud, but I have never given up,” Mr Endresz said.
He described the successful acquisition of the Judgment Debt by Davis Samuel as “a fateful mix of good fortune, hard work, meticulous legal planning and a never give up attitude ”.
“It’s an extraordinary outcome where my firm, Davis Samuel, has now replaced the Commonwealth Government as owner of the very Judgment Debt made all those years ago.
“There is no small dose of irony in the fact that Justice Refshauge took 5 ½ years to make a decision in favour of the Government and now I’m in box seat to control the USD$4.3 billion damages claim and finally be in a position to address a bankruptcy that was forced upon me in a smokescreen attempt to cover the Government’s own failings.
“You would have to say that this is the first case in legal history where the plaintiff has been replaced by the defendant, and where the hunted is now the hunter.”
Mr Endresz said he has had to overcome 23 years of “personal adversity, ridicule, reputational damage, financial hardship and legal setbacks” in a bid to get justice for family, friends and investors from a formidably resourced adversary – the Commonwealth Government – which he maintains “ruined lives and businesses without taking any responsibility for their own failings”.
The sorry saga that sparked the legal battle in January 1999 was when a Commonwealth Government contractor, Mr David Muir, transferred $8.725 million of taxpayers’ money in 1998 to Davis Samuel L.P. and CTC Resources N.L. The transfers were not authorised but neither Davis Samuel L.P. nor CTC ever denied the receipt or that the money would be repaid.
A subsequent criminal prosecution failed against Mr Endresz and Mr Cain, but the Government’s own contractor, Mr Muir, was sentenced and served 3 ½ years jail time.
Davis Samuel L.P. and CTC responded with a $4.3 billion civil damages claim against the Commonwealth Government, claiming they and their shareholders lost that amount (plus interest) when they could not pioneer a capital-raising plan in Australia based on British Premium Bonds. Subsequent Federal Budgets have noted the USD$4.3 billion claim as a “quantifiable contingent liability”.
However, in an epic judgment that took Justice Richard Refshauge 5 ½ years to complete, he struck out the USD$4.3 billion dollar claim while finding in favour of the Commonwealth Government that the $8.725 million transfers were void and illegal under the Auckland Harbour principles (common law restitution) and also under the principles of Barnes v Addy (equitable compensation).
Unbeknown to Mr Endresz at the time of the trial, he says the Commonwealth Government withheld crucial evidence. He said an Independent Expert’s report, produced by Ernst & Young and dated April 1999 (ctc DOFA E & Y Interim Report Jan 1999), detailed questionable financial competence and mismanagement of taxpayer’s funds within the Department of Finance.
The report highlighted systematic security breaches, password sharing, defective management controls and the loss of taxpayers’ funds.
“The Government was solely responsible for this legal fiasco,” Mr Endresz said.
“They have blatantly refused to accept any responsibility for allowing these transfers to occur in the first place. There were no checks and balances. It is simply unfathomably, and quite frankly, unacceptable, that Government contractors or employees were allowed to share passwords with direct access to funds in the Reserve Bank. It is mind-boggling that the source of the initial mistakes became the aggressor and that me and my family and friends have been subjected to more than two decades of this torturous behaviour.”
Speaking for the first time since the Commonwealth Government has now given up its Judgment Debt against him to Davis Samuel, Mr Endresz said:
“As the General Trustee Partner of Davis Samuel, I am satisfied that this deal kills two birds with one stone. Peter (Cain) and I are now free to pursue a constitutional declaration in the High Court that for $4.3 billion in damages plus compounding interest over 23 years, which is something like $40 billion, and I can now also set aside or annul my bankruptcy at any time of my choosing. Davis Samuel now calls the shots in my bankruptcy. I’ll do this as and when it suits me. Words cannot express my elation at this result.”
“The Government has been repaid the original $8.725 million plus $743,000 in interest while Davis Samuel will now start knocking on the door of the High Court without any Government Road blocks.
“If the High Court reaches a different legal conclusion as to our constitutional challenge, then there is absolutely no downside. My bankruptcy will be simply set aside or annulled and I’ll be left with millions of dollars of tax losses.”
“For taxpayers, there will be a heightened realisation that politicians and bureaucrats have no accountability as they unashamedly hide their abhorrent administrative and financial incompetence when it comes to taxpayers’ monies.”
In the meantime, Mr Endresz will sit back and enjoy watching his horses, including the resurgence of his prized Group 1 winning galloper, Alligator Blood, which is now under the care of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in Sydney.
“I named him Alligator Blood as it is a term used in poker that symbolises a player who is tenacious, resilient and never gives up. His name epitomises that ‘never give up’ attitude as we go about facing the many challenges in our daily lives.” Mr Endresz said.