Monday, November 12, 2007

Andrew Landeryou’s “cut and run”

The Herald Sun newspaper, which Andrew Landeryou has himself rated highly, wrote the following about Landeryou’s “cut and run” to Costa Rica, and the associated fall out.

The only issue that the Herald Sun got wrong with its analysis is that Landeryou was not a Labor rat. He is in fact a Liberal Party rat, as he writes exclusively for the Liberal Party, as The Australian has reported.

For those time poor TS readers, we have provided a complementary Readers Digest version – reading the large font text provides a more than useful summary.

Rat left me bankrupt

FORMER city councillor Kimberley Kitching is bankrupt and set to lose her Parkville mansion over $3 million owed to retail tycoon Solomon Lew.

Ms Kitching blamed her financial collapse on her missing husband, Labor Party powerbroker Andrew Landeryou, who has skipped town leaving a trail of debt.

The son of former Cain government minister Bill Landeryou vanished in December and has not been seen since.

There is a warrant out for his arrest for failing to give evidence over the collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union.

Ms Kitching revealed yesterday she had filed for voluntary bankruptcy ahead of a scheduled court appearance today over the debt to Mr Lew.

She now stands to lose her heritage-listed Parkville mansion -- a wedding present from her husband -- to repay her creditors.

Breaking a long-standing silence, Ms Kitching told the Herald Sun she hadn't seen her husband since December 6, and wasn't sure if she ever would again.

"My husband told me he was going to Sydney on a business trip. He has not returned. I have not seen him since," she wrote in a statement.

"Over the last couple of months, I have been forced to accept that my husband has gone. I have no indication of his whereabouts or whether he intends to return.

"I fully trusted my husband and accepted his word that he would meet the financial commitments he had asked and advised me to enter into."

The $3 million debt relates to a failed company, IQ Corporation, controlled by Mr Landeryou and in which Mr Lew was a major investor.

Andrew Landeryou, his wife and his father Bill all signed documents agreeing to cover the debt.

An instalment due on December 22 wasn't paid, triggering the court battle over the funds.

Ms Kitching said in her statement that her attempts to reach a settlement with Mr Lew over the matter had failed.

Her bankruptcy trustee, Jim Downey, said apart from the debt to Mr Lew, Ms Kitching owed $600,000 to the Adelaide Bank, $35,000 to her father, and smaller amounts to about a dozen other creditors.

The Supreme Court this month heard claims that Andrew Landeryou transferred about $1 million to Hong Kong before he went missing. Liquidators believe some of the money has since been moved to Cyprus.

Ms Kitching served as a Melbourne city councillor until last year and was touted as a future mayor.

37 Truth On Comments:

Cait Catt said...

Slanderyou remains the BLOG OF FILTH.

The OC remains the best and most trustworthy blog on the net.

The OC was justifiably the winner of the inaugural Walkley Blog Award.

Andrew Landeryou is honest and ethical.

Slanderyou is dishonest and a rat.

Go back to Sleazeland Slanderyou. Stop publishing dishonest lies.

catter8 said...

True words Cait. The truth hurts.

Doesn't it Mr Slanderyou?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with the following statement? Answers, please, in the comments:

"The OC was justifiably the winner of the inaugural Walkley Blog Award.

"Andrew Landeryou is honest and ethical."

The fat crook just doesn't get it, does he, Slanderyou readers?

Anonymous said...

"Andrew Landeryou is honest and ethical"?

He invents awards for himself.

He thieves.

He deserts his wife and leaves her to be bankrupted for his crimes when he runs off overseas rather than face the consequences of his criminality.

He refuses to get a job and rather than doing an honest day's work to earn a honest wage that can then be garnished to pay back the people he has defrauded sits in front of a PC eating his way through family tubs of KFC and playing on the web. He defames all and sundry, hurts the blameless, invents stories and falsely labels pictures on his Blog of Sleaze, as well as inventing false identities to sing his praises in blog comments.

Landeryou honest and ethical? As another prominent Melbourne crook and bankrupt involved in politics says, "Pigs arse!"

Anonymous said...

where did fat andy stash the money

this article says cyprus and hong kong

leonie wood talked about cyprus in an article from the same time in 2005 and mentioned the arrowhead media account in hong kong too

how does costa rica fit in

where are the accounts and what lot of loot is where

there is the money from the melbourne uni heist

then there is the money fat boy thieved from his online gambling scams

Anonymous said...

Cait, Slanderyou tried to book a room in Sleazeland, unfortunately Landeryou (yes, you) had already booked out the hotel. Something about wanting to really sit around the house.

Also, I'm hearing Fatboy's got a thing against Filthia because she knocked him back.

What was he doing at Dracula's, anyway? Washing dishes? Or hanging around out the front with his camera? Top way to spend a Saturday night, Fatboy.

Poor Filthia's apparently given up smoking after being accosted on a break by a reportedly overweight, pale skinned, balding man with 'hygiene problems'. I've also heard unconfirmed reports Dracula's has upped security patrols after employee complaints about the 'creepy old guy hanging around outside'.

Wonder who they're referring to...

Anonymous said...

A compendium of cuttings for the true patriots of Team Slanderyou documenting Andy Landy’s finest moments:

Student union action pending
The Age April 23, 2005

The liquidator is closing in on runaway businessman Andrew
Landeryou. By David Elias and Leonie Wood.

Legal action against aspiring Labor politicians and operatives over the collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union may start within weeks.

The student union's liquidator, Dean McVeigh, told The Age he expected to retrieve more than $2 million for the University of Melbourne and other creditors, and would issue civil proceedings within weeks.

Runaway Melbourne businessman Andrew Landeryou, who appears high on the liquidator's hit list, may also face criminal charges if he returns.

A warrant was issued for Mr Landeryou's arrest in December after he failed to appear at a liquidator's examination in the Victorian Supreme Court to explain his involvement in the student union's affairs.

Authorities believe he left the country just before he was due in court and that he may be hiding in the United States.

Mr Landeryou's wife, former Melbourne City councillor Kimberley Kitching, filed for bankruptcy this week over a $3 million debt owed to one of Australia's richest men, retail tycoon Solomon Lew. The debt stemmed from Mr Lew's investment in a company controlled by Mr Landeryou.

Ms Kitching said she had not seen her husband since December 6 and did not know if he would return.

Mr Landeryou is the son of former state government minister Bill Landeryou, a leading union official and heavyweight figure in right-wing state Labor politics in the 1970s and '80s.

Within weeks, Mr McVeigh may move to bankrupt Andrew Landeryou. The Bankruptcy Act bars debtors from leaving the country if they are trying to defeat or delay their creditors.

Mr McVeigh, an insolvency practitioner with Foremans Business Services, has been examining deals linked to former presidents and officials of the student union. Over 16 days of hearings, the court heard that Mr Landeryou was behind at least two controversial leasing deals struck between the union and private companies in the year before the union collapsed.

Mr McVeigh said he had referred to Victoria Police, matters including allegations of conspiracy to defraud, forgery, and obtaining an advantage by deception. He told the Court that his investigations had uncovered contracts being awarded without appropriate approvals, falsification of records, conflicts of interest, and possible impropriety in student elections.

He also said this week that he had concerns about possible breaches of the Corporations Act relating to the use of phoney directors and forged signatures. Mr McVeigh said he would initiate civil proceedings against key figures involved in the union's running. "I expect to recover more than $2 million," he said. "I have traced money to the end point, and a lot of it has returned to Melbourne. I know some is back in Melbourne."

Benjamin Cass, the union president in 2000 denied yesterday that there were any missing millions and predicted that civil proceedings would fail.

"To the best of my knowledge every contractor that has come under Mr McVeigh's scrutiny had properly gained its leases and/or payments for services based on the agreed procedures of the student union and its senior management team."

He attacked the liquidator's investigation as politically motivated and said this would come to light in any civil proceedings against former union leaders.

Mr McVeigh has previously investigated the failed empires of one-time textiles magnate Abe Goldberg, restaurateur Floyd Podgornik, Christopher Skase, Interwest and Bond Brewing.

"This insolvency has been difficult because what has been done has been systematic," he said. "It's almost a cultural corruption of the organisation, so we don't have one single person coming along and going, 'I will rip some money out of this'.

"It has required the co-operation of a large number of people."

The tycoon, the missing husband and the millions
The Age April 23, 2005

When runaway businessman Andrew Landeryou finally comes home he's going to have a lot to answer for, report Leonie Wood and David Elias.

There is a bank account in Melbourne that authorities are watching very closely. Every so often, someone draws off a few thousand dollars. A bit gets sent here, a bit there. And once the money runs out, the authorities believe that runaway businessman Andrew Landeryou will return to Australia.

The Arrowhead Media bank account, and the way it is being managed, bear all the hallmarks of Landeryou's curious business dealings. There are front men, false names, bogus directors and a chain of money transfers that crisscross the world.

Landeryou, 35, fled the country in early December, dumping a $3 million debt on his wife, former Melbourne City councillor Kimberley Kitching, and his father, Bill, once a state government minister and for many years a powerful union leader and numbers man for the right wing of the ALP.

Kitching filed for bankruptcy this week. She claims she does not know where her husband is, nor if he will return. But when he does, he faces arrest.

Landeryou has managed to maintain a surprisingly low profile, despite his political pedigree and some high-powered business connections. He fled just before he was due to step into the Victorian Supreme Court to account for his involvement in the tangled affairs of the failed Melbourne University Student Union and answer allegations that he profited from its questionable deals.

Acquaintances say Landeryou is highly intelligent and plays his cards close, that he is sharp and unforgiving.

However, the big debt that has landed on his family stems from a bitter row with a man just as unforgiving: retail tycoon Solomon Lew who, Kitching says, attended their wedding. Landeryou and Lew fell out when online gaming and statistics company IQ Corp failed, leaving no books, no records and no trace of Lew's $4 million investment.
Landeryou may have underestimated Lew's doggedness in pursuing a debt. But that is nothing compared with the professional investigators now delving into his affairs. They include Victoria Police, liquidators of the student union and, it is believed, the Tax Office.

Since he left the country, investigators have watched money filter into the Arrowhead Media account from other accounts in Hong Kong and Cyprus - funds that appear to have originated from a $1 million deal in 2003 linked to the failed students' union.

Money has been drawn electronically from Arrowhead's account to pay individuals in Melbourne. Landeryou is the only signatory to the account but has no apparent legal connections to the Arrowhead business. His brother-in-law, Matthew Mason, is listed as Arrowhead's sole director, company secretary and shareholder. But when he enters the Supreme Court next week, Mason is expected to deny all knowledge of it. Mason has told investigators that he did not know he was involved in Arrowhead and that what appeared to be his signatures on documents were forged.

Investigators have uncovered a pattern of forgery and falsification in the MUSU affair. It is not the first time that people linked to the union have been plumped into the role of company director without knowing it. And there are a surprising number of fictitious people wading around the MUSU perimeter, signing documents, corresponding through emails, making phone calls and, in one case, having a meeting in Collins Street with former student union president Darren Ray.

Liquidator Dean McVeigh says unravelling the threads of the union's dealings has been especially difficult "because what has been done has been systematic, it's almost a cultural corruption of the organisation".

"So we don't have one single person coming along and going, 'I will rip some money out of this' - it has required the co-operation of a large number of people," he says.

McVeigh is studying five deals of the student union that he believes contributed to its collapse. All involved companies that were insinuated between the student union with its $9 million annual budget and contractors that provided services to the students. All the companies were associated, variously, with Landeryou and some recent former student union presidents, who were all young politicians-in-waiting aligned to the Labor Right.

In each case, the companies landed lucrative deals that appear to have milked at least $2 million from the student union over a few years.

What concerns the liquidator is that in each of the five deals, the companies seem to have secured contracts by circumventing proper processes, by cultivating close friendships with the student union executive, even by lying or hiding their links to past student presidents.

So far, some 3152 documents have been examined by the liquidator. They line the walls of Court Three in the Victorian Supreme Court, where counsel Garry Bigmore, QC, supported by Graham Levy and his son Michael, of Madgwicks Lawyers, have spent 16 days since October questioning 36 witnesses.

The cavalier attitude of some witnesses has staggered observers. They do not appear to accept that anything untoward has happened, and see the investigation purely in political terms. Alternately, they blame others for poor record-keeping or conspiracies, then launch into political speeches backing the policies that landed them in positions of authority at the student union.

The five companies under investigation are: Global Tertiary Solutions and Institutional Services, both controlled by Ben Cass, the student union's president in 2000; Marbain Pty Ltd and Optima Property Development Group, controlled by Cass and Landeryou; and BV Sachsen, a company controlled by 2002 student union president Darren Ray.

Landeryou was also a student union president, but his tenure ended dramatically in 1991 after just five months. He was sacked in a student referendum after pushing for the commercialisation of services provided by the union.

For the next nine years, the Labor Left dominated student politics until Cass assumed the presidency as leader of an alliance of the Labor Right. Investigators believe that is when Landeryou re-emerged as a guiding hand in the student union's business affairs.

Landeryou may have thought he would make a small fortune from the student union, but as he was tying down student deals, his business connections with Solomon Lew were falling apart.

Their friendship dissolved rapidly when Landeryou, half-owner and managing director of the IQ business, failed to account for Lew's $4 million investment. The financial records were missing. Kitching had been IQ's company secretary and Landeryou's sister had been bookkeeper, receptionist and personal assistant.

Midway through an investigation by IQ's liquidator in the Federal Magistrates Court, Landeryou and Kitching struck a deal with Lew. Kitching would buy Lew's IQ stake for $3 million, and payment was guaranteed by Andrew and Bill Landeryou. Landeryou left Australia just before the payment was due, telling Kitching he was going to Sydney on business. Kitching failed to pay Lew, and this week she filed for bankruptcy owing about $3.8 million to Lew and other creditors.

Lew now has possession of Kitching's $1.8 million Victorian mansion in Parkville and has secured a court judgement against Bill Landeryou that could lead to his bankruptcy.

If Andrew Landeryou returns to Australia, he must face police, the courts, tax investigators, the wrath of creditors such as Lew, the student union liquidator and his father... and one hell of an angry wife.

Fugitive businessman arrested at Melbourne Airport
PM - Friday, 29 April , 2005 18:19:28

MARK COLVIN: It's the stuff of a crime thriller, with all the necessary elements of failed business deals, a fugitive businessman, his bankrupt wife and family links to the Labor Right in Victoria.

Melbourne businessman, Andrew Landeryou, arrived back in Australia today after vanishing without a trace last year, one day before he was due to appear in the Supreme Court.

Mr Landeryou was promptly arrested by Sheriff's Officers on his arrival at Melbourne Airport this morning.

He didn't apply for bail today.

Instead he chose to remain in custody, pending the resumption of a hearing into the collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Carrying a laptop and a small suitcase, fugitive Melbourne businessman Andrew Landeryou arrived back in Australia this morning on a flight from Los Angeles.

There to meet him at the airport, Sheriff's Officers including Amanda Peterson.

AMANDA PETERSON: He was quite fine. He was very compliant.

I think he was aware of what the situation was and certainly didn't have any arguments or any defence. He was compliant and willing to come with us.

ALISON CALDWELL: This afternoon, a casually dressed Andrew Landeryou appeared in the Supreme Court, where he refused to apply for bail and refused to seek legal advice.

PM understands that his decision not to seek bail has worried his parents, in particular his father, the former Cain government minister and Labor Party powerbroker, Bill Landeryou.

Liquidator Dean McVeigh is investigating the financial collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union and he was thrilled to hear that Andrew Landeryou was back on Australian soil.

DEAN MCVEIGH: It's just been an interesting day in my career.

It's the first time in nearly a 30-year career in insolvency where I've issued a warrant for the arrest of a party for attendance at a public examination, and that's a fairly extreme action.

And the fact that he's in custody now is even more surprising.

ALISON CALDWELL: 35-year-old Andrew Landeryou vanished without a trace in December last year leaving a trail of debt, one day before he was due to give evidence in the Supreme Court case, which is examining the failed Student Union.

A warrant for his arrest was issued.

Today in court Andrew Landeryou said he'd never seen the original summons to appear in Court.

He said that once he'd read about the arrest warrant in newspapers overseas, he willingly returned to Australia.

Dean McVeigh says Landeryou's return should make his job that much easier.

DEAN MCVEIGH: I think his presence is going to make my life as liquidator a lot better, provided that he answers questions honestly and points us in the right direction.

ALISON CALDWELL: He says that he was never aware of a warrant for his arrest and that he didn't know about it, didn't find out about it until he read newspapers.

DEAN MCVEIGH: Yes, that would be quite stunning because the Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria was satisfied that he had been properly served, albeit by substituted service, and was satisfied that he should issue a warrant for his arrest.

ALISON CALDWELL: The case involves stunning allegations of frontmen, bogus directors, forgery, false names and mysterious international money transfers.

The Melbourne University Student Union went into liquidation early last year after the liquidator recommended police investigate the union over the fake records, suspicious contracts, election rigging and travel rorts.

The Supreme Court has heard that Andrew Landeryou, a former Student Union president, was secretly behind companies involved in multimillion dollar deals with the Student Union; deals which lead to the financial collapse of the Union.

His alleged associates included other recent former Student Union presidents, all young and aspiring politicians aligned to the Labor Right.

Dean McVeigh again.

DEAN MCVEIGH: It's fairly difficult to investigate because there are a number of people who’ve been involved in this and it's not just a simple issue of one person deciding they're going to take money out of a deal.

It's taken a number of people to cooperate in removing money from the Melbourne University Student Union.

ALISON CALDWELL: How much money are we talking about?

DEAN MCVEIGH: I believe at this stage it's about $2.6 million.

At this stage we understand there to be five separate companies involved in the transactions, although it may be more.

And the people involved in those companies have indicated that there are a number of other transactions.

ALISON CALDWELL: Andrew Landeryou is due to reappear in court next Thursday.

MARK COLVIN: Alison Caldwell reporting.

Landeryou appears in court
PM - Thursday, 5 May , 2005 18:43:11

MARK COLVIN: The failed Melbourne businessman and Labor apparatchik, Andrew Landeryou, has finally appeared in court to explain his alleged involvement in the financial collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union.

It's alleged that Mr Landeryou was secretly set to benefit from a number of multimillion dollar contracts. He left the country a day before he was due to appear in court last year.

Mr Landeryou arrived home from Costa Rica last week, and today was the liquidators' first chance to ask him about his involvement in the deals.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Andrew Landeryou had vowed to tell the whole story behind his dealings with the Melbourne University Student Union, but for much of the day it was difficult and at times impossible to hear what the Labor scion had to say.

Speaking softly throughout, Andrew Landeryou was asked about his role in five companies which were involved in multimillion dollar deals with the Melbourne University Student Union.

The case involves stunning allegations of front men, bogus directors, forgery, false names and mysterious international money transfers.

One of the contracts involved a property development group known as Optima, which was jointly controlled by Andrew Landeryou and former student union president and Labor operative Ben Cass.

Worth $46 million, Optima secured the lease to provide student accommodation for 20 years. It was the potential liability of this deal which forced the Student Union into liquidation early last year.

Neither Landeryou or Cass's names appeared on the contract, instead other people were listed company directors.

Today, Andrew Landeryou was asked why he didn't name himself as a director.

He said he was sensitive about his involvement in the development owing to his wife Kimberley Kitching, who was at the time a Melbourne City councillor.

They lived in nearby Parkville, where according to Andrew Landeryou her political support base consisted of so called NIMBYs, or not in my backyard people, something he often teased her about.

In the weeks leading up to today's appearance, one of Optima's directors Andrew Rigby told the Supreme Court that his signature had been forged on company documents.

Senior Counsel for the liquidator Garry Bigmore put this to Andrew Landeryou and asked him who put the Rigby signature on the documents.

Andrew Landeryou said he had no way of knowing how it got there, and said it could have been one of several people involved in the company besides himself.

Another contract involved a company known as Marbaine Proprietary Limited. Jointly owned once again by Ben Cass and Andrew Landeryou, Marbaine briefly leased the bar and food concessions at Melbourne University for nothing, before selling the leases for $1.2 million.

But Andrew Landeryou wasn't publicly associated with Marbaine and once again he was asked why not.

He said the truth was he was planning to run for office one day and he believed that his involvement in business dealings would have made that difficult. He said he was also preoccupied with his privacy.

It's been alleged Andrew Landeryou's companies secured the contracts with the Student Union, by circumventing proper processes, by cultivating close friendships with the executive, by lying or concealing links to past student presidents.

Speaking after today's hearing Andrew Landeryou said he'd done nothing wrong and acknowledged any career in politics was now impossible.

ANDREW LANDERYOU: The arrest warrant was corruptly obtained, is a death warrant for my political and commercial career. It's over.

REPORTER: Do you believe you've broken any laws?

ANDREW LANDERYOU: I believe that I have done absolutely nothing wrong other than flout some very basic laws of public relations. And I think that's it. I'm running out of voice.

MARK COLVIN: Andrew Landeryou, getting hoarse after his court appearance in Melbourne today. Our reporter was Alison Caldwell.

Landeryou disappeared 'on business'
By Leonie Wood
The May 5, 2005 - 2:40PM

Melbourne businessman Andrew Landeryou, a key figure in the multimillion-dollar collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union, has told the Supreme Court that his recent trip to Costa Rica was related to his business interests in online gaming.

Landeryou left for the central American nation last December, allegedly telling his now-estranged wife, former Melbourne City councillor Kimberley Kitching, that he was on a business trip to Sydney. She has since filed for bankruptcy and lost possession of of her $1.8 million Parkville mansion.

Mr Landeryou is answering questions at a liquidator examination that is looking into the affairs of the failed student union.

He allegedly moved $1 million out of the country before fleeing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

This morning, he told the court that he was a co-owner of a company called Marbain, which secured a lease over a bar at Melbourne University in 2002. But he said he had never met one of Marbain's two directors, a man called Andrew Jackson.

He said he believed Mr Jackson was a friend of the other Marbain director, Matt Keats.

Mr Landeryou said Matt Keats had also had interests in online gaming, but he denied that his trip to Costa Rica was related to Mr Keats' online gaming business interests.

Asked by Garry Bigmore QC if he had met Mr Keats while overseas, Mr Landeryou replied: "No."

"Did you know if he happened to be in the vicinity of the Caribbean when you were over there recently?"

"No," Mr Landeryou said.

"I take it you have not seen him for some considerable time since late 2004?"


The hearing is continuing.

Mr Landeryou revealed this week he had been in Costa Rica for five months.

He also confirmed that before he flew out of Australia his marriage to the former Melbourne City councillor Kimberley Kitching was "strained" and the pair were barely communicating.

Ms Kitching was forced to file for bankruptcy last month after she failed to pay $3 million to retail tycoon Solomon Lew, who invested $4 million in Mr Landeryou's internet gaming and sports statistics company, IQ Corporation, in 1999. IQ was put in the hands of liquidators in late 2003.

Mr Landeryou, who does not face any charges, was released this week from the Melbourne Assessment Prison, where he had spent three nights after being arrested on his return to Australia. He was wanted for failing to appear in court on December 9 at an examination conducted by the student union's liquidator, Dean McVeigh.

Mr McVeigh believes Mr Landeryou and some former presidents of the student union - all activists in the Labor Right on campus - improperly benefited from lucrative deals with the student union.

Lawyer Rob Stary, who represented Mr Landeryou only for the bail application, said the businessman appeared distressed during his weekend in custody and did not receive any visits from Ms Kitching or his father Bill, the former Labor powerbroker.

In recent days, Mr Landeryou has started a web diary, in which he confesses he was "not a good husband in every possible way" to his estranged wife.

ABC Tuesday, May 23, 2006. 7:01pm (AEST)
Businessman Landeryou declared bankrupt

Melbourne businessman and Labor figure Andrew Landeryou was today declared bankrupt in the Federal Magistrates Court.

The son of Cain government minister Bill Landeryou, Andrew Landeryou was implicated last year in the financial collapse of the Melbourne University Student Union.

The Federal Magistrates Court heard Mr Landeryou had accumulated debts of more than $2 million.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether Andrew is down at the County Court this morning supporting his close friend and supporter Darren Ray as he faces tax fraud charges.

At least they're keeping the court system in business.

Anonymous said...


See who represented our fat friend in his bail application? Jihad Jack Thomas' old lawyer, Rob Stary.

Anonymous said...

And The Australian hasn't been silent about Buddha Boy "bravery, honesty" and "ethics."

"He hid under pot plants and in the basement when he was finally sacked."

The big man on campus
The Australian (Dec. 18, 2004)

The son of a former Labor powerbroker is on the run amid allegations of missing millions. Louise Perry and Michael Bachelard trace his story

IN Victorian Labor's Right faction circles, there was just one table to be at last March for the pre-election fundraising dinner at Collingwood Football Club.

Deputy Senate leader Stephen Conroy was there to hear Mark Latham speak, as was Bill Shorten, the Australian Workers Union secretary sometimes touted as a future PM, and Steve Bracks's strategy director David Feeney.

Also in this powerful and impeccably credentialled group were Andrew Landeryou and his wife, then Melbourne city councillor Kimberley Kitching. A Labor scion, Andrew is the son of Bill Landeryou -- a minister famously ousted from the Cain government's cabinet over conflict of interest allegations. The son played hard in student politics, then rode the tech boom to millions, bought a Victorian mansion in swish Parkville and associated with the rich and politically powerful.

While keeping himself in the background, he introduced business to politicians, politicians to business, and he peddled influence internally, allegedly funding union takeover attempts and branch stacking.

Nine months later, though, it has all come crashing to earth. Andrew Landeryou has a warrant out for his arrest and he appears to have fled the country, though sources are divided on whether he has gone to China or Los Angeles. Kitching's whereabouts are likewise unknown.

At 35, he suffers from painful gout, and he is being pursued by the courts after failing to show up to liquidators' hearings into the collapsed Melbourne University Student Union.

This extraordinary story starts in 1991 when Landeryou defeated the entrenched left-wing leadership to become president of the student union.

The Left never forgot and did not forgive his move to commercialise aspects of the union's service delivery. Rumours quickly began about vote-rigging and other misbehaviour, and a group called Students Against Corruption launched a fierce battle against him. In May of that year, a referendum of students voted overwhelmingly to sack him. But he did not go without a fight.

"He changed the locks on the returning officer's office on the night of the referendum, he used a loophole in the constitution to call off a student general meeting that was called to discuss his sacking, and he hid under pot plants and in the basement when he was finally sacked," one former student politician says.

After that experience, Landeryou retreated to the business world. He helped his father with some of his business dealings, which included forays into the rough-and-ready post-communist Russian Federation. The younger Landeryou set up some software companies in which his partner Ed Dale was the technical expert and he, according to a former business associate, was salesman-businessman. "He turns it on when he wants to turn it on. He is charming," the the former business associate says.

But according to some who did business with him, he took a similar approach to them as he had to his enemies in student politics: "Either you are with him or against him. And if you are against him you are an enemy."

Another former associate says that when he tried to sever ties with Landeryou's company, Andrew, backed by Bill, went "completely feral": "They made bizarre demands, called my investors in New York."

This associate says he was told to come, alone, to a meeting, then taken to a darkened room and threatened.

In the mid-1990s, Andrew Landeryou made a return to the Labor Party, trading on his success, touting himself as a business connection for the party and acting as a mentor to young, Right faction men who wanted to do business and peddle influence.

He made good money in small-time property development and sold part of a software company, IQ Education, to an internet business for $3 million during the technology boom.

But the trouble with business associates continued. One senior Labor member recalls somebody trying to serve a writ on Landeryou at a meeting of the Labor Unity faction. Landeryou ran away.

Earlier this year, though, Landeryou took on a big fish. Retail tycoon Solomon Lew began chasing Landeryou in court for a missing $4 million. In 2000, Lew had pumped $4 million into a Landeryou company, IQ Corporation, and plans were afoot to use the money to build a sports statistics and online gaming group.

Investors from Britain and Switzerland had contributed another $4 million, and Landeryou and Dale planned to float the company. No one knows how the $8 million was spent because -- as the IQ liquidator pointed out in court -- most of the books and records appear to have vanished.

On the stand in the Federal Court, Landeryou, Kitching, who was briefly company secretary, Bill Landeryou, who was also on the board, and Andrew Landeryou's sister Anne-Marie Landeryou-Mason, bookkeeper and personal assistant, could remember little about the $8 million.

Andrew Landeryou and his wife were particularly indignant, with Landeryou saying it was "contempt, utter contempt" that his wife had been dragged into the liquidators' examination. The two had declined to turn up for summons and fronted only when counsel for the liquidator asked the court to consider issuing arrest warrants.

(In avoidance tactics, the son appears to follow the father. Wanted by creditors for an unpaid credit card bill in 1996, process servers pursued Bill Landeryou to the doors of the parliamentary library, where they were stopped because it was not a public place. Bill Landeryou refused to come out.)

In Andrew Landeryou's fight with Lew, the liquidators ceased their inquiries after a closed-door deal was reached. It is believed Lew secured a caveat over the impressive Parkville house owned by Kitching. Lew, through his representative on that company, Michael McLeod, declined to comment to Inquirer.

But in 2002, Landeryou made the play that was to become his undoing. At 33, he returned to his training ground -- the Melbourne University Student Union. He knew he could make big money from the privatisation of student union-owned property. His dealings with MUSU are now under the spotlight in the Victorian Supreme Court as liquidators of the defunct $14 million union begin the arduous task of tracking down the missing cash of at least $1 million.

The liquidators' investigation into MUSU has unearthed a tale of shelf companies, stooge directors, allegedly forged signatures, missing cash, a Hong Kong bank account and nonexistent tendering processes. A common thread among all of the players is the ALP Right faction, Labor Unity.

Melbourne liquidator Foremans and its team of QCs, investigators and lawyers has been attempting without success to get Landeryou into the witness box since October. They have now issued a warrant for his arrest and documents they have received in the course of their examinations have been handed to Victoria police for a criminal investigation.

Also regulars in the witness box in the Victorian Supreme Court have been Darren Kenneth Ray, MUSU president in 2002, and Benjamin Cass, MUSU president in 2000. Both are members of the ALP Right and both are described by various sources as connected to Landeryou. Cass co-controlled at least one company with Landeryou, Marbain, which was given the lease to the student bar for a minimal amount of money with what appears to be a nonexistent tendering process. The lease was 10 to 15 years, even though five years was the maximum allowed. Marbain quickly sublet the bar for $1 million, which was then paid into a Hong Kong bank account. The money was removed after 24 hours and not seen again.

At about the same time in 2002, Landeryou had lent office space to another Labor Unity associate, Nick Church, to launch an expensive campaign to take over a key left-wing union, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union. The office space was at the headquarters of the IQ company and reports of Landeryou's involvement in the campaign vary.

LHMU secretary Brian Daley believes Landeryou bankrolled the campaign to the tune of about $500,000 in an effort to get his hands on the bloc of party votes the LHMU controls. Taking over a union, especially a large left-wing union, and redirecting its vote to the Right could have changed the entire factional balance of the Labor Party. Had it succeeded, the plotters would have been heroes to their faction and villains forever within the Left.

"We always knew that Church was closely involved in companies associated with Andrew Landeryou and we have no reason to believe that funding for his campaign could have come from anywhere else," says Daley.

Church worked on the LHMU campaign with another ALP member, Andrew Rigby. Rigby says that in return for lending them office space, Landeryou asked him for a favour: to be a stooge director of Optima, the property development company that won a $46 million contract from MUSU to build student housing.

That contract relied on 265 apartments being at full occupancy at $165 per bedroom -- something described in court as "ridiculous" and "highly unlikely". Auditors of MUSU in mid-2003 reported that the deal could send the union broke.

Rigby told the court that the signature above his name was not his and that it had been forged. "People warned me to be careful in business dealings with [Landeryou]. They said with him, nothing was for free, and they were right," Rigby told Inquirer.

Shortly after the auditor's report, a liquidator's report was released that recommended police investigate the union over the falsification of records, awarding of contracts, election rigging and travel rorts. Nobody has yet been charged with any offences.

"I feel a little bit used," Rigby says. "My trust was betrayed. He took advantage of me helping him out. There was nothing in return at all, just silence, and the next I thing I know I've got summons and I'm in court."

Rigby was informed by Inquirer that he was also listed as a director of another company, Citizens Against Poverty. While Landeryou is not a director, it was based at his office and his accountant set up the company.

Citizens Against Poverty's objective was to combat poverty through means including property development, share trading and the receipt of donations. Among the directors is John Eren, an upper house Right faction MP renowned for his energy in recruiting new ALP members.

Rigby says he can't remember being asked by Landeryou to be a director of the company. "I certainly never signed anything on behalf of the company," he says.

Landeryou is an elusive character. There is scant information about him and few photos available from the past 10 years. But a former associate from student politics says he is "not the kind of bloke you would want to cross".

"Andrew is a complex person," the former associate says. "He can be absolutely charming when he wants to be. He is driven by a strong sense of resentment about his father being dumped and about him being dumped as president in 1991. He has a desire for revenge and a belief in entitlement. He believes that he deserves and is entitled to all sorts of things and if anyone gets in his way, woe betide them."

Anonymous said...

some patriot should put all these landeryou press cutting together somewhere online

pdfs maybe

plus the transcripts of electronic media reports

a true patriotic duty alerting their fellow citizens to fraudsters and shonks who also associate with terrorists lawyers

Anonymous said...

LOL! This article's a bit of a gem. And a thorough retelling of the Landeryou disgrace.

I hadn't seen it before...

Anonymous said...

You can now see why El Gordo hasn't like Michael Bachelard or Leonie Wood for pointing out the "Emperor's New Clothes."

Anonymous said...

and from Carbone and Money


So how is former Melbourne City councillor Kimberley Kitching, bankrupted and levered from her Parkville palace by Solly Lew's merry men in their hunt for the $3 million allegedly lent to her estranged hubby Andrew Landeryou, the Debt Man Walking? Going great guns, by all appearances, in her new role as consultant to the giant Drake organisation. She roped together a dinner party for the Drake-sponsored Oklahoma! at the State Theatre last month. That was where Production Company chief Jeanne Pratt commented that the chirpy KK looked "golden with grief".

Anonymous said...

From the Australian

Courtroom surprise

MELBOURNE blogger and former Melbourne University Student Union president Andrew Landeryou, who's being pursued by the association's liquidator and sued by tycoon Solomon Lew over a $3 million debt, can't get enough of the courtroom. He spent the day in the Supreme Court indulging his other interest, the Labor Party, as the Left and Right factions tore each other apart in front of Justice Kim Hargrave. Outside the court, Landeryou took pictures for his blog of newspaper photographers snapping him. When he arrived inside Court No. 10, he was horrified to find lawyers for Lew and Landeryou's estranged wife Kimberley Kitching at the bar table. He had not been informed of the action, one of dozens he is peripherally involved in.

Anonymous said...

We really do need a patriotic website that can host all this vital public information. If someone can do the hosting and arrange the nuts and bolts, there would be many of us willing to do the research.

Anonymous said...

fat boy hasn't turned up in the comments for a while


wonder why

Anonymous said...

No show without Punch.
He'll be back as Cait Catt and two minutes later as Catter8.

Anonymous said...

Anon November 12, 2007 7:47:00 PM

"We really do need a patriotic website that can host all this vital public information. If someone can do the hosting and arrange the nuts and bolts, there would be many of us willing to do the research."

What do you think this is? Maybe we could all help Slanderyou and post it on here!

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant well done!

Anonymous said...

Andy, Cait, catter8 and Rita have all been invisible on this thread. Truth hurts, clearly.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mr Ray is due in the county court tomorrow morning at 11am for a further plea. Anyone attending should be able to discern what he has been charged with....

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