Terri Irwin denies being “knowingly involved” in any financial misconduct

December 19th, 2007 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Dec 19 (ANI): The Crocodile Hunter star Terri Irwin has slammed reports of her being “knowingly involved” in any illegitimate activity after it was revealed that she wanted 3 million dollars in loans from an overseas bank

Terri is now at the centre of a multimillion-dollar law suit, however, she initially denied of any such disputed financial transactions.

Loan application records signed by Mrs Irwin have been obtained which seek funds from a Singapore-based firm that has ties with accused tax fraudster Nick Petroulias.

Since then, the contact numbers for the overseas bank, HQZ Argentum, in Australia , New Zealand and Singapore have been disconnected.

It emerged on the weekend that the Irwin Family Trust and its Australia Zoo were the subject of a 2.5 million dollar writ, while another 60,000 dollar claim targets Terri Irwin personally.

Mrs Irwin’s business manager, John Stainton said after the court actions were lodged in a Victorian court that he “had no bloody idea” what the lawsuits were about, reports news.com.au.

Meanwhile, Mrs Irwin said in a statement that she had given instructions to solicitors and would “vigorously defend” the matters if they proceeded in court.

The statement read: “Earlier this year issues arose regarding transactions from previous years and legal advice was sought.

“Neither Terri Irwin nor any other person connected with Australia Zoo was knowingly involved in any dealings which were not completely legitimate.”

However, Mrs Irwin denied responding to specific questions about the loans.

Some documents show that Mrs Irwin sought unsecured loans for a similar amount in applications dated June 24 and 26, 2006, three months before hubby Steve Irwin died from a stingray barb.

According to these applications, the money was sought for working capital.

While there were no signatures from Steve Irwin on the documents, but they were viewed by Frank Muscillo, Steve Irwin’s brother-in-law and general manager of Australia Zoo.

According to the records, on June 26, 2006, Mrs Irwin also signed a contract with HQZ Argentum’s administrative agent, Avowal Administrative Attorneys Ltd of Auckland , agreeing for a financial restructuring plan.

These firms, HQZ and Avowal are linked with Petroulias, a former assistant tax commissioner on trial for fraud.

Petroulias was convicted by a jury on one count of agreeing to receive money on an understanding that his role at the Australian Taxation Office would be affected, and on another count of publishing documents without authorisation.

Alyssa Treasury Services Limited lodged the legal action against Mrs Irwin, her family trust and Australia Zoo. (ANI)

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