Heat still on

January 22nd, 2010

THE corporate regulator and liquidator of failed fuel technology company Firepower will begin poring over five days of Tim Johnston’s startling evidence in an attempt to determine if legal action will be pursued.

This week saw the end of five days of examination of the Firepower boss in the Federal Court in Perth, but the Australian Securities & Investments Commission has reserved the right to recall Mr Johnston if necessary.

Meanwhile Johnston has told the ABC that none of it was his fault and he is very sorry everyone lost their money. He also spun another line about working for Green Power. In fact, my sources say he hasn’t been seen anywhere near Green Power for quite some time.

Won’t be long now before another big name emerges – caught up in the on-going soap opera. For now, let’s just say the guy who was recently off skiing with Putin.

“Grave” man denies Johnston’s story

January 21st, 2010

A man Firepower boss Tim Johnston says was abducted by a group of bikies at the behest of property developer Warren Anderson has dismissed the claim as ridiculous.

“It’s actually ridiculous. It’s a bit offensive really, there’s no substance to it whatsoever,” Nairn told ABC radio. Funny that.

Tales of kidnap, digging graves

January 21st, 2010
Firepower chief Tim Johnston has accused property mogul Warren Anderson of organising the chilling underworld-style kidnapping of an accountant who had refused to relinquish ownership of the intellectual rights to the fuel technology company’s controversial additives.
In a sensational day of evidence at the Federal Court in Perth, Johnston admitted that Firepower’s parent company, based in the British Virgin Islands, had never owned the rights to the fuel additives despite 1300 investors plowing their savings into it.
The scheduled five-day hearing has been extended to a date to be fixed to give Mr Johnston time to produce and be questioned on documents that he said he would seek to find and pass on to the liquidator.

Firepower caused domestic friction

January 12th, 2010

After a break from seeing Firepower in the news almost every day, I see the fall-out has resumed. Property tycoon Warren Anderson is defending claims he pushed his estranged wife across a room and onto the floor over a missing computer containing information about the collapsed Firepower business empire. There seem to be a lot of missing computers in the Firepower saga.

So what can we believe?

December 5th, 2009

Firepower boss Tim Johnston has told a court that he agreed to a $4 million cash transfer out of the company’s funds after a man had made threats against an unspecified person. In dramatic testimony delivered in the Federal Court in Brisbane via video link to Perth, Mr Johnston said yesterday he had caved in to the demands to transfer the cash to a company linked to a Warren Anderson, despite there being no proper basis for the transfer. Read on here.

And here (although note that Les Stein is not a former government minister but a former chairman of the WA planning tribunal).

So here’s my prediction. A major underworld figure soon emerges in the story. I look forward to Tuesday.

Johnston behind bars

December 3rd, 2009

Firepower boss Tim Johnston was expected to spend his first night behind bars last night after a warrant was issued for his arrest, reports Perth’s Sunday Times. Johnston was questioned in Brisbane yesterday, via videolink to a Federal Court hearing in Perth, on his failure to attend a public examination of his failed company last Thursday. Johnston had cited health and safety concerns for his inability to attend the liquidators’ hearing in Perth, supplying a doctor’s affidavit to support his claim that he was too ill to fly. Lawyers for the liquidators of Firepower immediately applied for a warrant for his arrest, and that hearing was adjourned to Wednesday. Sorry for the cut-and-paste job but I am still overseas. But you can read on here.

UPDATE: I see Johnston has escaped being taken into custody despite a warrant being issued for his arrest.

A dramatic few days

November 29th, 2009

I picked a bad time to go overseas on business, given all the the drama over the past few days. It began on Thursday when, as predicted, Firepower boss Tim Johnston failed to turn up to court. That led to an application for his arrest. The usual delaying tactics continued when Johnston applied for further leave to have his heart examined – stress and fear for his safety apparently. The new deadline appears to be Tuesday, when the Federal Court will sit again to discuss whether or not he is able to front the court and face a public examination over the $100 million collapse of Firepower. Even his old mate Warren Anderson is wondering what’s going on.

Will he or won’t he?

November 22nd, 2009

Angry investors hope discredited Firepower boss Tim Johnston will face a very public humiliation in Perth this week, reports The Sunday Times. Johnston, who fled Australia owing millions amid the spectacular collapse of his controversial fuel-additive company, is due to be quizzed in the Federal Court on Thursday. He will be questioned about the missing millions by a legal team headed by liquidator Bryan Hughes. Johnston is also likely to face an angry mob who lost money investing in the magic pill he claimed could increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. 

There has been growing speculation that Johnston may not make his first appearance in Perth since March last year, when he left the country. If he does not turn up at the Federal Court, without an excuse, by 10.15am investigators will ask for a summons to be issued for his arrest. But he could send a “sick note” through lawyers, asking to be excused from the hearing.

My sources tell me that Johnston spent some of this week in Manly, Sydney after being reunited with his ex-French Foreign Legion bodyguard. Those same sources allege the same bodyguard was once shared by the slain stand-over man Michael McGurk. Not at the time of the slaying, it should be said.

Johnston heading towards bankruptcy

November 15th, 2009

Interesting story in the Sunday Times in Perth revealing that discredited Firepower boss Tim Johnston must find at least $12 million in the next two weeks or face personal bankruptcy.  Johnston, who flew into Australia last week after fleeing to London in March last year owing millions from the collapse of his fuel additive company, must repay Perth mining entrepreneur Ross Graham. Readers of my book will remember that Graham sank about $26 million into Firepower on the promise he would be repaid handsomely when Firepower listed on the secondary stock market in London. One can only guess what other moves are planned by other creditors.

Johnston wants passport back

November 10th, 2009

He’s only been back a week, but already Tim Johnston wants to leave our shores. The Firepower chief walked back into the spotlight yesterday for the first time in 18 months, making a brief appearance in a Brisbane court. His hair was noticeably greyer than two years ago when he rubbed shoulders with prime ministers and sporting stars and spruiked a magic pill for cars with the false promise it would cut fuel consumption.In the Federal Court yesterday his lawyer said he would ask for the return of Mr Johnston’s passport so he could travel overseas for business – a prospect that alarms the liquidator of the failed fuel additive company. Read on.