Skase faces further charges over Qintex

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The Independent Online
SYDNEY (Reuter) - Christopher Skase, the former Qintex group chairman and one of the most colourful of Australia's 1980s entrepreneurs, faces 32 new charges, according to the Australian Securities Commission.

The ASC said indictments containing the 32 new charges had been presented in the Brisbane District Court by Ian Callinan QC, appearing for Australia's Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Skase's Adollars 2bn hotels and television empire collapsed in 1989 with massive debts.

The ASC said most charges alleged Mr Skase improperly used his position to authorise payments totalling Adollars 7.45m to gain an advantage for himself or his private company, Kahmea Investments. An ASC spokeswoman said Mr Skase now faced a total of 34 charges in the District Court.

One new charge alleged that he had acted dishonestly by authorising payment of Adollars 2.85m with intent to defraud Qintex. Another two alleged he was involved in Qintex Australia's giving financial assistance to allow Kahmea to buy shares and convertible notes in Qintex Ltd, the holding company of Qintex Australia, the ASC said.

Qintex, an entertainment and leisure group, was put in receivership in November 1989 with debts of Adollars 1.6bn.

Mr Skase's barrister, Shane Herbert, told the court Mr Skase, who is living in Spain, was unable to travel for six months, and agreed to the case being adjourned to 26 November.

Mr Skase, 44, resigned as a director of Qintex in November 1990 and was declared bankrupt in June 1991 with personal debts of Adollars 80m. Earlier this year he waived his right to a committal, or preliminary hearing to determine whether he has a case to answer.

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