National

Ponzi scheme suspect has ‘bad’ memory

By AAP Newswire

The director of an alleged Ponzi scheme which reportedly ensnared sports stars including surfer Joel Parkinson says alcohol abuse has impacted his memory.

Ken Grace made the admission in the Federal Court in Brisbane on Wednesday, during the second day of hearings into how he ran a hedge fund named Goldsky.

He says he has a poor memory because of alcohol abuse and the medication he is now taking.

The admission came as the liquidators quizzed him about how he invested his clients' money.

Grace said he would move money from the hedge fund into a bank account he ran with his wife.

He told the court he never told clients he was moving their money into his personal account.

The court heard of the large amounts of money being moved between the Goldsky fund and Grace's personal bank account in the final months of the company.

About $3 million was deposited into his account from the hedge fund in late September 2018, prior to the company going into receivership.

After initially stating he believed that money was used for trading, Grace said he didn't know what happened to the money after the lawyer pointed out he believed he had only traded $1.8 million in the company's final two years.

Grace also spent $17,000 to fly his family on a private jet from the Gold Coast to Sydney, which he admitted was more for personal reasons than for business.

During the hearing, which was heated at times, Grace said he had not lost any of their money.

However, the court heard about $24 million is still unaccounted for since Goldsky's collapse in 2018.

Grace said he was the victim of a cyber crime, and levelled accusations against liquidators that they were not trying hard enough to find the cash.

He also accused them of protecting key witnesses, including one investor Matthew Skene.

The court heard Mr Skene drew other investors, including former surfing world champion Joel Parkinson, to Goldsky.

Grace told the court he believed Mr Skene, or a syndicate associated with him, conspired to steal investors' money from his personal bank account.

However, the liquidators grilled Grace on Wednesday about what evidence he had to back up this claim.

Grace said he believed unsolicited transactions from that account could determine where millions of dollars in investors' money went.

The liquidators labelled this analysis as "nonsense".

The hearing is set down for four days.