SMH is kicking the crap out of Obeid

For years the Sydney Morning Herald has raised issues over the actions of Eddie Obeid and his family and for years they got threats and denials.

Now the ICAC has found them to be dodgy and corrupt they are kicking them hard in the slats.

For years Eddie Obeid, the humble backbencher on a salary of $130,000 a year, ticked the ”not applicable” box in his pecuniary interest declaration as to whether he received money from any trusts.

But the sensational recent corruption inquiry revealed that $30 million in profits from a corrupt coal deal flowed through a maze of Obeid family trusts.

The black money – coal profits – trickled into the accounts of Mr Obeid and his nine children, none of whom work outside the family businesses.

Luxury houses, fast cars and holiday apartments were bought and the affluent lifestyles of the Obeid offspring were maintained with the family’s ill-gotten loot.  

The whole family was involved and they are all cut from the same corrupt cloth.

This money ultimately found its way into the Obeid Family Trust No.1, to which the Obeids had appointed their least numerate family member as trustee.

Gerard Obeid, who is paid $10,000 a month as the family ”gopher” – driving his four brothers around and running errands – did not know he was the trustee of the Obeid Family Trust No.1.

The inquiry also heard he had no idea how he had paid for his $2.5 million house.

Commissioner David Ipp asked where he got the money to buy the house. Gerard Obeid replied: ”It was in the bank, your Honour.”

Pushed to explain where the money had come from, Gerard Obeid said he had no idea.

”The tooth fairy?” suggested the commissioner. ”You go through life without bothering about things like this, you leave it to somebody else to make sure that you have enough to live on and you’re happy with that?”

”Exactly, exactly, your Honour. I have no idea of how this works,” Gerard Obeid said.

It is also unlikely that even though he was the trustee of the Obeid Family Trust No.1, Gerard was aware of the 50-odd ”non-current assets” that the trust had ”loaned” sums of $9 million.

These include the Obeids’ ski lodge, The Stables, at Perisher; Milland Pty Ltd, which owns a vast estate at Port Macquarie which the Obeids are hoping to develop; and El-Telegraph newspaper.

Even the accountant was in on it.

In 2004, the trust lent money to Burwood Apartments Pty Ltd, run by the Obeids’ accountant, Sid Sassine.

There was also a loan to Blackwall Point Developments Pty Ltd, in which the Obeids had a secret investment, which played a mysterious role in the $10 million purchase of a large industrial estate in Chiswick. The land was re-zoned and on-sold for $17 million, leaving the Obeids with a tidy profit.

Then there was the $2.8 million loan to the Circular Quay restaurants, also secretly owned by the Obeids.

The Obeid accounts are looked after by Mr Obeid’s son-in-law Sam Achie, who receives a $55,000 salary as the Obeid Corporation’s financial controller.

Despite earning so little, and his wife Fiona Obeid not working, the couple bought a $1.415 million house and have submitted plans for a $1 million makeover of their Hunters Hill home.

Commissioner David Ipp put the following proposition to Mr Achie: ”The idea is that one for all, all for one, they operate together [as] an entity and no matter what the book entries are the idea is that at some point in the future there will be [an] equitable distribution of the profits and losses?”

”That’s a fair assumption, yes,” Mr Achie replied.

It was all just one big corrupt family. If thy were Italian instead of Lebanese they’d be Mafia.


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  • Mr_Blobby

    Probably turned up from the Lebanon with the clothes they were standing up in and suitcase full of US dollars, claiming refuge status.

    • Dave

      Eddie virtually did arrive in Australia with nothing, but he went on to ran the Lebanese standover tactics, moved into a grubby local lebanese newspaper, owned/managed that for over 20 years as a front to his corruption and as a vehicle to deliver votes to a wanting Labour government, providing he got a seat. So began the “Terrigals” faction, the start of the major corruption in Labour. Eddie is no fool, he has a very very well developed mind, worked out who was who in labour, and set to out fox and out maneuver them. He is the master of deception, often operating through others who become the scapegoat leaving him relatively unscathed. I only hope he is stripped of his ill gotten assets and his doubly corrupt son Moses spends many years inside.

      Somehow, I doubt they will ever see and time, they will have a few pictures and files that mean they keep their assets and stay out of jail.

      • AngryTory

        the start of the major corruption in Labour

        not really – as Labour was founded as the “political wing” of the endemically-corrupt union movement , corruption is the entire point of Labour.

        Labour is entirely based on corruption (illegal collusion) and economic terrorism

  • AngryTory

    You have to remember this is a very labor-biased ICAC since before the days of Bob Carr as Premier. After all it’s first act was to axe Nick Greiner, a Liberal Premier who was later found innocent of all charges by an actual court. In contrast, the Queensland, Victoria & Perth ICAC’s have repeatedly found Labor to be systemically corrupt.

    An actually independent NSW ICAC would have taken down Rudd, Gillard & the federal ALP. Rudd & most of his ministers – and the GG – would be forced to resign (as Grenier was) and Abbott appointed caretaker PM to oversee the next elections.

    But, well, that’s too much for Oz – and too much for NZ as well. Stll: it’s called democracy. NZ and Oz should try it sometime.