Elliott in court on fraud charge: Former Elders boss faces multiple allegations of theft and conspiracy

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The Independent Online
MELBOURNE (Reuter) - John Elliott, the former Australian beer baron, was at the centre of sham foreign exchange payments of Adollars 66.5m ( pounds 33m), a court heard yesterday.

The alleged transactions were made in the late 1980s when Mr Elliott was chief executive of Elders IXL, the brewing, finance and agricultural group, according to prosecution evidence at Melbourne magistrate's court heard on the first day of a committal hearing into whether Mr Elliott should stand trial for defrauding Elders.

The prosecutor, Brind Woinarski, said there was overwhelming circumstantial evidence against Mr Elliott and other former Elders executives.

Mr Elliott has denied the charges and his counsel told the court there was no suggestion his client had made any financial gain from what was a legitimate foreign exchange deal.

Mr Elliott and two other former executives are charged with two counts of theft, totalling Adollars 66.5m, from the shareholders of Elders and one of conspiracy. Another is charged with the theft of Adollars 39.5m and with conspiracy.

Mr Woinarski said he would present direct evidence from Ken Jarrett, former Elders finance director, who has already pleaded guilty to his part in the alleged transactions.

The committal hearing is expected to last three months.

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