Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bad News for Crocofile Dundee's Paul Hogan

John Cornell, Linda Kozlowski, Paul Hogan & Delvene Delaney (c tSS)
He is estimated to have made a $150M fortune from the Crocodile Dundee films which he wrote and starred in but Paul Hogan is facing a serious battle with the Australian Taxation Office after it was revealed that a complicated series of financial transactions between 2002 and 2005 saw millions of dollars being channeled to Hogan from a number of tax havens.

During that period Hogan and wife Linda Kozlowski moved back to Australia and purchased a sumptuous harbourside mansion in Sydney's before selling up to move back to Los Angeles in early 2006. But the Australian Crime Commission is claiming that Hogan declared himself 'stateless' during the 3 year hiatus and as neither a resident of Australia or the USA paid no tax in either country while at the same time moving millions to various bank accounts from a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The Commission claims that the company was a sham and owned by Hogan and his partner in his films, John 'Strop' Cornell.

When Hoges and Strop made the first film in 1986 it was financed by them and produced on a small budget but went on to become a huge box office hit raking in more than $500M worldwide. They both invested heavily in the northern NSW resort of Byron Bay and made tens of millions out of successful ventures there.

Hogan has been fighting in the High Court for 6 years to keep accountancy documents secret after 2 newspaper publishers-Rupert Murdoch's Nationwide News and the Fairfax Media took him to court . Today he lost that fight and was ordered to pay both companies costs which are estimated to be in the region of $15M.

In 2008, Hogan, who lives in the US and has said he paid Australia more tax than he could have, told the Tax Office to ''come and get me, you miserable bastards''. And now it looks like they will with the added weight of the Crime Commission. Hogan had claimed the documents were 'privileged'. The court decided otherwise which now means they can be used by the Crime Commission who have claimed that the actor has avoided paying tax for years.

This doesn't look good for Hoges. His friend Glen Wheatley, the rock band manager received a sentence of 30 months in 2007 for a similar series of financial moves involving $800,000. And even worse- it looks likely the US Inland Revenue will become involved.