Frank Lowy

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Frank Lowy is executive chairman and co-founder of Westfield. He is a director of Daily Mail and General Trust plc (UK) and chairman of Football Federation Australia (FFA) Limited and the Lowy Institute for International Policy. From 1995 until December 2005, Mr Lowy was a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is chairman of the Westfield Group Nomination Committee and a member of the Foundation Council for the Australian Davos Connection.[1]

Mysterious Money

In 1995, the Australian Taxation Office found two mystery contributions worth $48 million in Lowy family accounts at the National Australia Bank in Sydney.

According to John Garnaut writing in The Age, "The Tax Office had not been aware of the $42.8 million received in January 1987, and another $5 million deposited in November 1988. Lowy representatives explained they believed the deposits were "capital injections into the company from unknown international sources", according to an April 1995 Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decision on a procedural matter tabled that year in Parliament."

"The ATO prepared to hit Lowy members with individual assessments for the full tax on the mystery $48 million, plus penalties and interest worth more than 100% of the original tax debt. The assessments added up to $331 million, according to documents seen by BusinessDay. The Tax Office only intended to collect on one of the large individual assessments. That is, $60 million rather than $331 million.

"In May 1995, the Chatswood office's deputy commissioner, Jan Brady, received a call from Canberra to say the case had been settled for $25 million - about the amount of primary tax that should have been paid on the original $48 million deposit without any penalties. A number of Tax Office officials were shocked and upset by the decision to settle.

"A few weeks later the then Keating government appointed Lowy to the Reserve Bank board. The DPP eventually dropped its investigation for lack of evidence. At the time, investigators believed Lowy's mystery deposits were linked to an impenetrable trust-like foundation in Liechtenstein called "Yelnarf". Yelnarf spelt backwards is "Franley", which happens to be an abbreviation of "Frank" and his wife "Shirley". Franley is also the name of two Lowy family companies." [2]

Football Controversy

Lowy has been accused of having of conflict of interest over his position as chairman of the FFA, and his family's purchase of a 51% stake in the Sydney FC club [3]

Links to the Prime Minister

In 2006, Broadcaster Alan Jones interviewed Australian Sports Commission chief executive Mark Peters, about government funding of Lowy's Football Federation Australia:

"Jones said: "Frank Lowy said to me, 'You must ring the Prime Minister, we need money'.
"I said, 'Frank, you ring the Prime Minister'. He said, 'Oh, that would ruin my friendship'. I said, 'Oh, you want to ruin mine?"'
Peters chuckled and Jones continued.
"So I remember saying to the Prime Minister 'Twelve million' and he said, 'How much?' And somehow or other the $12 million materialised in a grant and a loan - no problems now." [4]

Other SourceWatch Resources

External links