Ex-GP Noble principal Tony Morris cleared of fraud charges, and Palm Beach possibly beckons

Jonathan ChancellorDecember 8, 2020

Tony Morris, the ex-principal of GP Noble, has been acquitted in the UK trial over fraud allegations.

Morris was extradited from Sydney last April to face charges of defrauding the fund.

He left behind his wife, Vanessa, in their $7.45 million Palm Beach clifftop property they named Aman.

There was a recent rejected application to the Australian Federal Magistrates Court by Morris’s bankruptcy trustee Andrew Wily to sell it – for reputedly about $4.6 million.

But Magistrate Rolf Driver ruled against Wily’s application, which required Vanessa’s refused consent to any sale of the northern beaches clifftop house.

It had been passed in on a $5 million vendor bid at its March Raine & Horne auction and is understood to be set for spring listing through LJ Hooker Palm Beach.

The Financial Times reports after a two month trial at Southwark Crown Court, Morris was cleared of conspiracy to defraud and theft by a jury of seven men and five women.

His financial adviser Peter Malmstrom was also cleared of laundering nearly £7 million from the GP Noble Trustees Limited pension fund.

But it can now be revealed that the GP Noble manager Graham Pitcher was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and jailed for eight years after a trial last year for transferring £52 million into two offshore bonds.

Quentin Russell, a company adviser, was also convicted of fraud and forgery offenses in another related trial and was sentenced to 15 months in prison on January.

The two related cases, which ended last year, weren’t public until yesterday because of UK reporting restrictions.

The two men’s trial went for about 11 weeks.

Morris was charged with stealing £30 million from GP Noble and its pension funds between July and August 2007, and £22 million from GP Noble and BDC Trustees Ltd. in April 2008. The SFO alleged at trial that the money was spent on luxuries including a £150,000 Aston Martin sports car.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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