Fraud accused businessman is keeping busy doing deals
MORE than three years after he was first released on bail, disgraced former Rich Lister Craig Gore will finally have his day in court and he's vowing to mount a vigorous defence.
Less well known is what the twice-bankrupt Gold Coast bizoid has been up to since he was charged with 12 counts of fraud for allegedly ripping off $800,000 from self-managed super fund investors in 2013-14.
But, thanks to court records, City Beat can reveal that the 53-year-old son of late Sanctuary Cove developer Mike Gore recently acted as a consultant for Sydney-based Euro Funeral Services, although that partnership ended in October.
Gore is now working as a consultant for a Burleigh-based property developer and he's involved in multiple business schemes with long-time mate Lewis Cohen, a former bankrupt based in the US.
The pair, one-time neighbours in California who have known each other for about 20 years, were formerly enmeshed in a disastrous attempt to buy and redevelop cyclone-smashed Port Hinchinbrook in far North Queensland a few years ago.
Cohen was a director of now-defunct entity The Passage Holdings, which had acquired the Port's common area property for nearly $3 million and flagged a grandiose $450 million makeover that went nowhere.
Gore acted as a consultant for Passage, which collapsed in mid-2017 owing $13.7 million.
More recently, according to Gore's affidavit, he has worked as a consultant over the past five years for Cohen's firm, Klasp LLC, based near San Francisco.
These gents have plenty of projects on the go, including ventures across the US and Asia involving vodka, disposable batteries and spring water. They've also got a property scheme in Texas.
Last month Gore sought permission to vary his bail conditions so he could travel to the US to provide advice on the Texas project, as well as visit his wife and two kids living in Sweden.
He hoped to leave late last month and come back in early November, although how that would happen with limited flying options and border closures remains unclear.
Cohen even offered to stump up a $250,000 bond so that Gore would return to face his trial, now set down for two weeks starting July 27 before a judge but no jury in Brisbane District Court.
But Judge Paul Smith knocked back the gambit, saying Gore posed a potential flight risk for a variety of reasons, not least because he's got Swedish residency and is facing a possible six to seven year stay in the iron motel if convicted.
"One could understand that once in Sweden, away from the Queensland courts and with his family, he would decide not to come back to Australia, where there is the potential of receiving a significant jail sentence,'' Smith wrote in his ruling.
LACK OF CASH
The judge's decision was also notable because Gore had previously been allowed to visit Sweden in late 2018 before returning to Australia early last year.
His trial was originally supposed to start in September but he won an adjournment by claiming he didn't have enough money for legal counsel.
That argument raised more than a few eyebrows, since Gore was clearly well off enough to travel overseas, had multiple consulting jobs and could do deals in the US. Cohen alone could bankroll the legal eagles!
Regardless, Gore maintains he's not guilty of the charges, which include three counts of managing companies while disqualified. The Federal Court banned him for life from the financial services sector in 2015.
ASIC is now aiming to see Gore behind bars.
The corporate cop alleges that Gore siphoned $800,000 out of about $4.75 million raised from more than 200 investors, who believed their money would acquire distressed properties in the US. But only 14 homes collectively worth $455,000 were ever bought.
Gore could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Originally published as How Craig Gore is keeping busy ahead of his trial