A MULTIMILLION-dollar property portfolio linked to notorious conman Lemuel Page was sold under instruction from liquidator Andrew Scott, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, for about $6 million this week.
The former Newcastle beachfront apartment home of Page and his former bodybuilding partner Renay Bull, who worked as a Newcastle podiatrist, sold at auction on Saturday for $1.8 million.
It's understood another buyer in The Royal complex purchased the two-bedroom King Street apartment that overlooks Newcastle beach.
Expressions of interest in a 54-room boarding house in Parkway Avenue, Cooks Hill, closed on Friday and it is believed to have sold for more than $3.5 million.
A third property in Ashfield, Sydney, that used to be owned by Page's late grandmother, sold for $680,000.
Page was convicted of fraud in July 2017 for selling a friend a fake diamond ring for $85,000 and the Newcastle Herald revealed how dozens of Hunter investors and tradespeople lost money to the scam artist.
Page's web of deceit, stretching back decades, involved failed investments that left him owing friends and former associates more than $17 million.
The property developer turned fraudster's past includes a shareholder arrangement with ex-bikie boss Sam Ibrahim, the oldest brother of Kings Cross nightclub owner John Ibrahim.
His long line of victims include former Hunter-based school friends, several members of his former long-term partner's family and numerous prominent Newcastle businessmen.
Mr Scott, who was unavailable for comment on Monday, previously told the Supreme Court that he planned to sell the properties to repay a $3.4 million debt owed to the National Australia Bank.
Damon Sellis, of Street Property, was selected by the liquidator to market and sell the Newcastle properties.
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Late last year Page's ex-wife, Fiona Page, failed in a last-ditch attempt to rescue her floundering property business, Parkway One Pty Ltd, from the hands of liquidator Mr Scott.
Ms Page asked the court to terminate the liquidation of Parkway One in December, claiming the company was able to pay its debts.
But Mr Scott argued strongly against the move, detailing a host of concerns about the company's "commercial morality".
Mr Scott raised concerns about Parkway One's dealings with another company, Elefteria Properties, that was liquidated in June 2017, but used to be controlled by Ms Page and Lemuel Page.
Before Elefteria Properties was placed in liquidation, the boarding house, Newcastle beach apartment and properties in Cardiff and Ashfield were purchased by Parkway One, that is owned and controlled by Ms Page.
The court heard "the transfer of the properties was said to be a form of property settlement" between Ms Page and Lemuel Page.
To assist with the purchases, Ms Page also received a loan from a long-time friend of her ex-husband, Theo Baker, who was a dot.com entrepreneur listed on the BRW Rich 200 list in 2001 before being declared bankrupt in 2014.
Despite the couple's separation, Lemuel Page continued to be involved in the running of Parkway One.
The pair's business affairs started to unravel in August last year when Mr Scott was appointed liquidator following a wind up application in 2018 by the body corporate of the Ashfield property for $18,000 in unpaid strata fees.
Justice Kelly Rees refused to terminate the liquidation listing concerns about the company's "long history of non-payment of trade creditors" and failure to keep proper books and records.
She also raised concerns that Parkway One used $130,000 in cash to make payments to creditors from a Sydney and Port Douglas post office over five days in the weeks before the court hearing and further cash payments were made "shortly before the hearing".
"Whilst cash remains a legal form of payment in this country, I am troubled by the amount of cash that has been used in recent times to pay creditors of the company," she said.
Justice Rees described Ms Page's attitude towards a creditor seeking payment as "indignant rather than apologetic" and said it was "cause for concern" that she previously failed to provide information to the liquidator of Elefteria Properties, despite his repeated requests.
A report to creditors in December revealed claims for two related party loans.
Ms Page claimed she was owed $432,700 and related company Harmat Nominees, run by Ms Page, claimed it was owed $287,223.
"I would not admit any related party claims without a full accounting for related party transactions," Mr Scott wrote.
It's unclear at this stage if there will be excess funds from the liquidation.
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