Conman trial: Racing car meeting never took place - accused

By Edward Gay

Loizos Michaels. Photo / Chris Gorman
Loizos Michaels. Photo / Chris Gorman

An alleged conman says a meeting in a Marcos racing car, in which he was said to have pocketed thousands of dollars from an Australian film executive, never took place.

Loizos Michaels has taken his seat in the witness box at the Auckland District Court where he has denied 31 deception charges connected to an alleged $3 million fraud.

He has told the court that he moved to Australia with his family at the age of seven and sold newspapers in the street as a child. He also helped out in the Melbourne restaurant where his mother worked.

The 45-year-old has also given evidence about his life on the Gold Coast in 2004, when he is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars from Australian film executives.

Michaels has contradicted some of the evidence from Crown witness Adam Hansen, a film executive, who told the court last week that he was offered a $300,000 salary by Michaels, but was also told he had to invest in the business.

Mr Hansen told the court that he handed over $170,000 in cash to Michaels, some of which was put into envelopes and hidden on the floor of the luxury Marcos sportscar which Michaels was driving at the time.

Today Michaels denied ever taking money off Hansen, and said the meeting in his Marcos never took place.

He said the film studio company had also set up a casting agency and operated a stunt school.

``The only money coming in was from the schools, which was used to pay bills.''

Michaels also denied Mr Hansen's evidence about Michaels talking of backing from the mafia and the Japanese Yakuza [gang].

He was also asked by his lawyer, Peter Kaye, if he had ever spoken about arranging for a cruise ship to be anchored off the Gold Coast which would operate as a off-shore casino.

Michaels said the conversation never happened.

The trial continues.

- APNZ

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