For those of you who have yet to catch up with the news, John Finnin has gone to jail for between eight and twelve years. The former Firepower CEO was found guilty of child sex offences by the Victorian County Court.
Meanwhile this story by Sean Cowan was carried by the West Australian newspaper on Wednesday, 26 August. I repeat it in full because it didn’t appear on the web:
Firepower boss Tim Johnston has been ordered to pay more than $12 million to WA mining entrepreneur Ross Graham over the collapse of the fuel technology company.
Mr Johnston, who has lived a reclusive life in London since fleeing Australia early last year in the wake of the Firepower fiasco, personally guaranteed a $9.73 million loan from Mr Graham’s private company Rolen Pty Ltd to Firepower in 2007.
The money was never repaid and Rolen launched legal action against Mr Johnston in the WA Supreme Court last year. Master Craig Sanderson has ordered Mr Johnston to pay back the money with interest — a total of $12,302,758.88.
There is little hope that Rolen, or Mr Graham, will recover any of the money.
Mr Johnston has few assets and was not represented when Master Sanderson made his ruling because he had not paid his Eastern States-based law firm.
While Mr Johnston is also understood to have an interest in one of eight luxury cliff-front villas in the Asmara development in Nusa Dua, Bali, investigations have yet to confirm whether he is the registered owner. A sprawling Gold Coast property where lawyers recently tried to serve him with legal papers is registered to his wife Sandra.
Meanwhile, the Firepower saga continues to be played out in several different courtrooms as the corporate watchdog pushes for sanctions against the defendants and investors try to recover some of the estimated $100 million that was lost when Firepower collapsed.
Last month, Quentin Ward became the first financial adviser to be punished for his dealings with Firepower when the Australian Securities & Investments Commission banned him from providing financial services for eight years.
ASIC is also civilly prosecuting Mr Johnston, Mr Ward and the private companies of businessmen Warren Anderson, lawyer Les Stein and former police minister Gordon Hill for allegedly breaching the Corporations Act by raising funds for Firepower without issuing a prospectus.