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Businessman posts $1.5m bail but authorities hold onto $40m assets

A MILLIONAIRE businessman charged over a $63 million tax evasion and money laundering scheme has been allowed to return to his Gold Coast mansion after posting bail of $1.5 million. But more than $40 million in luxury assets, including houses, cars and yachts owned by Michael John Issakidis, 67, and an associate will remain in the hands of the authorities after being seized in raids last month. The Australian Federal Police and Australian Tax Office say the seven-month investigation into Mr Issakidis is the largest under Project Wickenby, the federal government’s pursuit of wealthy alleged tax evaders. Advertisement: Story continues below Prime real estate in Sydney and on the Gold Coast as well as several Rolls-Royces, a Lamborghini, an Aston Martin, a Mercedes-Benz and yachts have been seized under the new federal proceeds of crime laws, the AFP said. Mr Issakidis faced Central Local Court last week charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime of more than $1 million and conspiring to cause loss to the Tax Office. Magistrate Antony Townsden granted him bail on the condition he live at his Paradise Point home on a $1 million bail. Rhonda Laraine Issakidis and Nance Beverley Toope also agreed to each post $250,000 with the court. Earlier this year, Mr Issakidis sued ”Baby” John Burgess for $30,000 in unpaid rent the former TV host owed on his sub-penthouse in the Gold Coast’s Q1 building. Greek-born Mr Issakidis is the managing director of NeuMedix Health Group, a group of investment and health technology companies. His bail conditions prevent him from contacting NeuMedix’s co-founder and director Anthony James Dickson. NeuMedix is involved in a program at Griffith University‘s botanical medicine for population health, which is developing herbal medicine to treat dengue fever. Wickenby investigators allege from 2006 Mr Issakidis, through a complex unit trust structure, over-inflated the prices of Australian patents once they were transferred offshore and claimed corresponding depreciation expenses of $63 million. They further allege these funds were laundered through an account in Britain and accounts in Hong Kong before being transferred back into Australia. Mr Issakidis will reappear in the Downing Centre Local Court on August 7.

Courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald

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