Tuesday February 12 2013
– Tony Mokbel’s business partner Jack Smit is involved with a troubled nursing home empire at the centre of investigations by the Department of Health and the Federal Police.
Company documents show that Mr Smit is a director of a company that ultimately holds an interest in the Woodhaven Lodge nursing home in Croydon North.
Woodhaven is one of the five aged care centres in the Cambridge Aged Care Group associated with Stephen George Snowden, who allegedly paid himself more than $1 million of the group’s money in a single day.
The federal Department of Health has expressed serious concerns about the quality of care Cambridge provides to its 318 residents and has been monitoring the group for a year.
Mr Smit was Tony Mokbel’s business partner in the 1990s as the drug kingpin amassed a multi-million-dollar property empire that included a pub, pizza shop and a horse stud.
Late last year Mr Smit emerged with control of a beleaguered Essendon property development, telling a court in September he wanted to help Mokbel’s former girlfriend, Danielle McGuire, who was involved with the project.
Mr Snowden is the sole director of Temasek Properties, which is ultimately owned by Mr Smit through his company Smit Realty. Despite its name, the company appears to be unrelated to Singaporean investment giant Temasek.
A report as to the financial affairs of Temasek Properties, filed when the company ran into financial trouble in October last year, shows it claimed an interest worth $2.348 million in the Maroondah Highway property on which Woodhaven stands.
However, the nature of that interest was unclear on Monday as title searches show the company is not the registered owner of the land.
Company documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show companies associated with Mr Snowden hit financial trouble last year. Temasek Properties was put into liquidation on October 1st owing creditors, including another of Mr Snowden’s companies, $3.85 million. However, it was handed back to Mr Snowden a fortnight later because no one turned up to a creditor’s meeting.
Mr Snowden and Mr Smit could not be reached on Monday – Ben Butler & Vince Chadwick